Some years ago while making clamshell boxes for the Library, I came upon this logbook of the H.M.S. Jupiter, which is one of my favorite items in our collection. Admittedly I have interest in weather and transportation, and these topics intersect in the weather entries found in ships’ logs. But this logbook drew my attention as a physical object. So many of the marks of its history are upon it and not just on the pages. The layers of dirt, oil, and ink spills all contribute to the patina of the warm, natural, earthy tones of the cloth cover, leaving clues to the book’s past life.
Why do I like this book so much? Perhaps it’s the admiration for the man with the needle, combined with my own imaginings about past voyages, adventure, and the unknown. Come see the book yourself. It is on display with some other Rauner books in conjunction with the Geographies: New England Book Work exhibition in Berry Library’s Main Street exhibition cases through mid-August. After that, you can find it by asking for Codex MS 807107.
Posted for Stephanie Wolff, Preservation Services