The white gloves of destruction

Some time in the mid-twelfth century, scribes in England put together a collection of sermons by St Augustine of Hippo, and other Fathers, in a small handheld codex.  About 250 years later it was definitely in the collection of the Bibliotheca Amploniana in the University of Erfurt, in the geographical centre (more or less) of modern Germany.

In 2007 researchers from the Austrian Academy of Sciences were examining the codex and discovered that among the thirty sermons by Augustine were the texts of four entirely unknown sermons and the complete text of two more which otherwise only survive in fragments. The texts were published in 2008 in Wiener Studien 121 and Wiener Studien 122, the house journal (I believe) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

The researchers' webpage on the find has links to a video (wmv, will not play natively on the Mac, the free VLC player should be able to handle it) with an interesting presentation of the the story (I cribbed the above two paragraphs from it) of the manuscript and the significance of Augustine etc.  I was struck by the photographs which show the manuscript itself, sometimes in the hands of a librarian (I guess) at the Amploniana.  He is wearing white gloves, the uniform of the librarian/archivist trade.

I was struck because I discovered some time ago that there is quite a strong reasoned case against the blanket use (har-dee-dee-har-har) of white gloves when handling archive materials. No less an institution than the National Archives of the United Kingdom will not require people handling its materials (photographs excepted) to wear gloves [pdf].

(Via Br Robert OP).