Endangered Alphabets

Samaritan.jpgEarlier this week the Atlantic posted an interesting article about a Tim Brookes, who preserves ancient scripts by carving them into wood. His “Samaritan” is seen here above (with his permission). From the Atlantic:

...Without support from governments, NGOs, or foundations, the English-born, Vermont-based writer Tim Brookes has been documenting this heritage in a unique way, carving specimens on local curly maple in his Endangered Alphabets Project. Every research library may have one or more reference books of world alphabet specimens, but wood carving presents texts in what is literally a new light...[read more]

Intrigued, I visited the Endangered Alphabets site. It is a singularly awesome project that consists of fourteen 18” x 12” slabs of Vermont maple onto which endangered alphabets (Manchu, Samaritan, Syriac, etc.) are carved and painted. These art objects have been on exhibit at several universities and colleges over the past year and are available for future exhibitions. Mr. Brookes has also published a book that acts as a catalogue to the exhibition. You can read an excerpt here; and buy one here.

He is now working on an Endangered Poem Project, and the coming attractions look very cool.

Bali-poem2-1024x768.jpg“First stage of the Endangered Poem Project: using carbon paper to transfer the text to the wood.” Credit: Tim Brookes, here with his permission.

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