Sunday, February 24, 2013

A riveting Saturday!

One day, I thought to myself, "I wonder if Uppsala University has a letterpress studio.."

And well, as far as I can tell, they do not. But in my searches I found out that there is currently an exhibit about bookbinding at the library. So I went by to check it out yesterday. I had brought my camera with the hopes that I'd be allowed to use it, but alas, I was not. Either way, it was such a great experience that I will write about it sans photos!

It was a pretty small exhibit, but I read ALL the signs and I stayed in there for over a half hour. I am usually the kind of person that hates history, but man, someone just needs to tell me about the more interesting things and I am completely enthralled. Here are the highlights I saw.

1. A first edition Principia by Isaac Newton. I maintain that, as a physicist, this is the coolest book I could have ever seen. Here is a wikipedia article on the book. Apparently, this particular book had been stolen from the UU collection about forty years ago. And somehow it ended up in an auction in New York, where some kind soul bought it and donated it back to the university. Pretty crazy.

2. The Silver Bible. This is Sweden's most valuable book, I guess. It is actually just the four gospels, not the entire bible, and it is in the Gothic language (they also had a bible that was the first complete one printed in the Swedish language). Mostly I just loved reading the phrase "Swedish war booty" at a bookbinding exhibit. Here is some info on the UU library webpage, including a picture that someone must have illegally taken.

3. Carta Marina. This map was huge and awesome! And it is surprisingly accurate for being made in 1539. It is made in nine pieces that, together, make a map that was four feet by five and a half feet. On the webpage you can look at each of the nine blocks, and get just a tiny taste of the detail that is on this map. The sea creatures are fantastic.

After I got home I made this white hot chocolate, because anything that is equated to a form of frosting is a thing I've got to try. And it was sooo amazing. I seriously don't know how I lived my whole life without this stuff. As a side note, even though it is a Swedish-inspired recipe, I managed to forget to buy pearl sugar and almond flavor, so I just made it without. I also think I used nutmeg, but it could have been allspice. I don't really know, and I didn't feel like looking it up, but I smelled it and was in favor. I also used a bit of cinnamon, since I was missing the almond flavor. I even invested the time in whipping up some whipped cream, which was completely worth the time spent.

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