While working on the first exercise I couldn’t imagine why I had to research all these informations about this old book and what I was going to do with it. After we received the second task the whole exercise began to make a little bit more sense to me. In my opinion the second task was the most interesting and also the most important part. I’ve never had the opportunity to touch a book that was written over 300 years ago. For me this was a really impressive experience. I really liked the devout atmosphere in the library; the only thing you hear is yourself carefully scrolling through the book. „Introduction à la fortification“ by Nicolas de Fer contains almost only illustrations of different kind of fortifications which made it interesting to browse the book because I could simply look at the pictures without reading the text.
The book is in French which made it difficult to deeply understand the subtopics of the chapters. But by translating some sentences, I more and more began to understand the intentions Nicolas de Fers pursued with this book.
For me it was really difficult to find editions of my book before 1800. I could not find a good internet page to search for it and all the books I could find were the original ones ore completely different books. Luckily a friend of mine showed me a good page on which I found some editions. It would have been helpful if we had received a link for research.
Task four was also not that easy. After I had run the pdf of my book through the Optical Character Recognition engine I had to wait for at least half an hour. After I checked on it again I realized that the OCR was not able to recognize the text of my book because it was handwritten and it contained way too many illustrations. But I still learned how to generate a text document from a pdf, how it looks and I even tried it out myself. The second part of this exercise gave me the opportunity to once again and even more precisely look at my book and analyze how it is composed in terms of typography and illustrations.
While working on the exercises I realized that it can be really difficult to find informations on old books like mine. It wasn’t possible to simply google the main topics of the book, so I had to deal precisely with my book to understand it. That was really confusing since we are used to google the title of a book and receive a nice summarization of the whole text. In my opinion it was really important to realize that there are still limits to the internet and that sometimes we still have to work out the informations we need ourselves.
I really liked the creative part about the last Task. It was fun that we really had to put ourselves in the character of the books and act them out. The interaction with the other students worked surprisingly well even though we had to communicate online.