15 July 2013

Andre Gide once said, "The problem with choice..."

"...is what you leave out."

The same can be said for the digitalization of old newspapers, apparently.

So, in my renewed interest in colonial American neo-Latin poetry this summer, I've come to realize just how much easier than it once was to get one's hands on scanned versions of the original texts, many of which were published in newspapers and other periodicals.  No dizzying microfilm or, even worse, microfiche.  No expensive travel.  Indeed, today, in about 5 minutes never leaving the desk in my office, I had in my hands a printed copy of Catholic frontier missionary Stephen Badin's elegy for Joseph Hamilton Daveiss, "In Gloriosam Mortem..." as published in the April 1812 issue of The Port-Folio Magazine

"Golly," I thought, "this is SWELL!"

And it is, although nothing's fool-proof, as I discovered when I went after James Ross's "In Memoriam Joannis Simonton" from the January 1815 issue of the same periodical. 

Sure enough, and just as quickly as the first time, I find the listing and click on it and see the first seven lines as found on page 89. 

"Wait.  Where's the rest?," I asked, because the poem (I know from other sources) is 77 lines long.  I searched, and even called up the entire issue, but pages 90-93 are nowhere to be found.   

Yes, Burritt library has a few issues of Port-Folio Magazine in its Rare Book Collection, but not the issue I need.

Now it's possible that those pages no longer exist, but, if that were the case, I'd assume that some notation would have been made in the digital file.

So, guess who contacted Interlibrary Loan?

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