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No More New Old Knowlege

by Austin Brown on February 18th, 02010


King’s College London president Rick Trainor announced recently that the university would be closing the chair of paleography, the UK’s only one.  Held by Professor David Ganz, the chair of paleography is the position that overseas a discipline many consider to be a vital component of historical research.  Paleography is the study of ancient manuscripts and has pieced together and deciphered many of the texts that have provided the basis for our knowledge of history.

Budget cuts are the precipitating factor, or rather “strategic disinvestment” as the official announcement goes, but they’re being met with some resistance.

“Palaeography is not simply an arcane auxiliary science,” says Professor Jeffrey Hamburger, chair of medieval studies at Harvard University. “It is as basic to the training and practice of ­historians as mastery of Dos or Unix might be to a computer scientist.”

-from the Guardian