We were driving to the WECO to pick up my car when Tim casually suggested:
Do you mind if we stop by the Cooper Library? We’ll be so close to downtown.
The old me (pre-30 Days of Fun) would have thought: You think I have time for that?
The new me said: I’ve never been to the Cooper Library! What’s up?
I want to show you something, he said.
(Like we’ll ever find a parking place on the University of South Carolina campus, is what I really thought.)
But we did, and we made our way.
We headed for the Special Collections section.
(The trip had already been worth it!)
Then I heard Tim say to the Librarian, as he handed her a slip of paper through the reference window:
I’m looking for this book, John Milton’s Comus. It was hand illustrated by my Great Grandfather, Enrico Monetti.
That got my attention.
The Librarian did some clicking around on the computer in front of her as Tim went on to explain:
We don’t know much about him, but my aunt in Connecticut has been doing some digging. Apparently he was a rather famous Italian artist. There are only 30 copies of this book in the world, and one of them is right here, in your collection.
We weren’t familiar with the term “illuminated,” but Wikipedia gives a good explanation.
How thrilling it was to sit there in the Rare Books section touching the pages of this magnificent volume knowing Tim’s Great Grandfather had touched those pages, as well. What a connection to the past. What a marvel.
30 Days of Fun II
Note: Thank you to the Rare Books librarian who gave me permission to take photographs.