Three quickies with piccies, in advance of the holiday . . .

1. I wrote a post for my work blog today called The Bibles of Salisbury House. We have a truly, amazingly, incredibly significant collection of complete and fragmentary Bibles in our collection (including a Noble Fragment leaf from a 1454 Gutenberg Bible), and I’m looking for a financial partner to help us curate an exhibition to share these historic and beautiful works more widely. If you know someone with $25,000 burning a hole in their pocket, let me know!

Spine of the oldest complete Bible in the Salisbury House collection, though we have other leaves and liturgical fragments going back to England in 1200.

2. When we bought our house in Beaverdale (a neighborhood in northwest Des Moines) last year, we learned that the homes in our neighborhood had been build for coal miners and their families in the 1920s and 1930s. Most of them have showers in the basement that can be accessed from exterior doors so the filthy miners didn’t get the main floor of the house dirty when they came home from work. What I didn’t learn until recently, however, was just how short a commute the miners had from home to office: there are several abandoned coal mines located right in the heart of Beaverdale. Here’s an outline map of one, showing just how close it is to where I live today.

The blue dot at upper left is my house. The purple lines are the outlines of a former coal mine. I smell an adventure!

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