Discovery of Galileo’s long-lost letter shows he edited his heretical ideas to fool the Inquisition

This headline and the article which follows, infuriates me. Because the letter was NEVER lost. It was in an archive clearly listed in a finding aid prepared by an underappreciated underpaid archivist who did everything in their power to make it accessible to researchers.

If you go into the Royal Society’s library catalog search, type in “Galileo,” and sort by date, this “lost” letter” is one of the first results. There is no excuse for this shoddy-ass reporting, nor this shoddy-ass academic work. Yet here they are, gleefully erasing the work of the archivist!

I have two Master’s degrees: an MA in History and an MLIS in Archival Science. Archivists have their own set of Things I can yell about but lately historians have realllyyyy been vexing me in the way they erase archivists or talk about us like we’re the damn scullery maid.

Discovery of Galileo’s long-lost letter shows he edited his heretical ideas to fool the Inquisition

“Folks, there’s nothing left…”

“Folks, there’s nothing left from the Linguistics division. We lost all the indigenous languages collection: the recordings since 1958, the chants in all the languages for which there are no native speakers alive anymore, the Curt Niemuendaju archives: papers, photos, negatives, the original ethnic-historic-linguistic map localizing all the ethnic groups in Brazil, the only record that we had from 1945. The ethnological and archeological references of all ethnic groups in Brazil since the 16th century… An irreparable loss of our historic memory. It just hurts so much to see all in ashes.”

Cira Gonda, translated by Diogo Almeida, about the fire at Brazil’s National Museum