At the very beginning of my friendship with the old book „de verborum vitruvianorum significatione“ by Bernardino Baldi, I felt a bit overwhelmed. First because the book is written in Latin in the year 1612. I thought that I had to translate and understand its content. But luckily we did not have to. Second, because the book was only available in the Oechslin library in Einsiedeln and I thought that I would not get to meet the book in real life. That is why I was quite glad that we had the opportunity to meet our book on a Friday afternoon in Einsiedeln. It was a special afternoon for me because I have never held a book this old in my hands before in my life. It is surprising how good the quality of the book still is, although it was written 400 years ago. I was a bit scared to flick through the pages because they seemed quite fragile and the cover felt a bit brittle. That was the moment, where I became more interested in my old book. I asked myself, what the book has already lived through and through how many hands the book has wandered before, where it was stored all the years and who the author was, who lived that many years before I was born. However, it was not always fun doing the tasks, because I thought that it is nonsense to get friends with a book without even reading it and understanding it.
The longer I was spending time to explore the book in the five tasks, the more I understood about the book without reading it. That was something I would have never thought at the beginning of the friendship and is very surprising when I think about it now.Especially in task 4 everything started to make sense to me. It was so surprising to me what you can interpret just from the different fonts and font sizes.
While doing some of the tasks, I had wished to understand more of the content of the book, because I have spent quite some time with the book and therefore I wanted to learn more about it. Another reason is, that I found out that the book probably is an encyclopedia. It could have been interesting and maybe helpful for some architectural work or just to learn more about architectural history and their knowledge about building these days.
But I think that was not the point of the whole exercise I think. It is about learning how to do research and how to use all the online-resources we have. And how to filter the information overload to get to the important data. And about much more. So in conclusion I learned a lot in this year long friendship, more than I would have imagined at the beginning of it all.