I’ve been good lately. My last book purchase was in mid-November so I went the entire month of December without adding to the to-read shelf. So in order to make up for nobody getting me what I wanted for Christmas (I know – whaaaa, whaaaa, whaaaa) I did the usual and bought something for myself. 1
Got a 25% off coupon from B&N and ordered a copy of Ann Marie Yasin’s Saints and Church Spaces in the Late Antique Mediterranean: Architecture, Cult, and Community, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2009). ISBN: 9780521767835.
I looked pretty hard at this book a few months ago and the Kim Bowes book I recently finished moved it to the front of my mind again. Bill Caraher gave it some pretty favorable comments on his blog a while back and I think it will really fit in with the whole “archaeological evidence for space and its uses” issue I want to familiarize myself with. Fairly expensive for me as books go but I hope it will be worth it.
This was Saturday and I was pretty happy with that Purchase. On Sunday I opened a holiday catalog I’d received several weeks earlier. I’m pretty good at ignoring holiday stuff but this was from Oxford University Press. They were selling The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium for under $160, roughly a third of the usual list price. It’s a new record high for a book purchase for me. Then again, it is three volumes. Now if Cambridge would just send a catalog out with similar prices for the PLRE volumes … (see note 1, below)
All this left me feeling poorer but in the holiday spirit. So yesterday, I was going through some online library collections (for work – I DO have a job I get paid for) and I saw a link on the University Library site titled, “e-scholar.” I had no idea what this is so I clicked on it and found it full of all kinds of electronic resources, including buckets of graduate theses and dissertations. As a test, I did a search using the name of a Medieval Studies grad. I’ve now downloaded Cullen Chandler’s Ph.D. dissertation. 2 For someone who once wrote a blog post on libraries, I’ve sure been slow to take my own advice and find out what’s available. In my spare time I intend to start working my way through graduate theses and dissertations from 2010 backwards and see what else is in there.
This also inspired me to follow another piece of my own advice. I just got an alumni account from one of the higher ed institutions I have a degree from. When I get time I need to go after the others. I’m not sure what an alumni account gives me access to but I intend to find out.
I was so psyched by this last discovery that I decided I had to post about it. The price of gas may be going up but guess what – I can get a LOT from the University Library without ever leaving my house.
1 Some day my friends will take me seriously when I tell them to pool all their money together and as a group buy me The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire. Or even one of the three volumes.
2 Chandler, Cullen 2003. Charlemagne’s Last March: The Political Culture of Carolingian Catalonia, 778-987. Ph.D. diss., Purdue University.