Having reached the end of my friendship with Alessandro Capra’s book entitled “Le due parti della geometria famigliare” it is time to draw the conclusions of this journey.
In this path I had the opportunity to work with an ancient book both in paper and digital form. Having historical works available in both versions is, I think, a great privilege nowadays. This is due to the fact that depending on the form (paper or digital) the approach is different and also our attention is focused on different elements.
An example of this is the location of the book. As for the written source, I had to go to the Werner Oechslin Library (Einsiedeln), as the only place in possession of this book. Here, I could simply consult the book very carefully in the library for a short time (20 minutes). With these limitations and the location of the work, I realized that I was dealing with a unique book of immense value. While to consult the digital version, I just had to write on “Google” the title and the author of the book. This version I could then save, edit and consult it several times for longer time.
Another very interesting aspect of this friendship is how I worked with the two different versions. Consulting the paper version, I could see, touch and measure the width, height and length of the book. All this in the digital version was not possible, so here my attention shifted to the content of the pages, such as on the images and the textual parts.
What I found very interesting about this work is the fact that through a blog, all of us students were able to share our friendship with our ancient book. And later, thanks to the use of computer programs, it is as if our books had been placed in a single library and then further divided into small groups. The members of the individual groups presented common themes. In this respect, it was possible to start a discussion on the different issues within the groups.
In making friends with Alessandro Capra’s book I found some problems with running the pdf through the optical character recognition engine (ORC). This is due to the fact that the original version was handwritten and therefore some words were not very well recognized. The problem then continued with the translation from Italian into English.