Odlucian Library

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The Odlucian Library is the largest collection of tomes, luminous manuscripts, scrolls, facts, figures, literature, poetry, art, and music known. Founded in -75 EC, it started over what - at the time - might have seemed a harmless exchange.

History

Thoedore Aspic (-123 EC to -30 EC), founder of the Iganefta Recorder, had lost control of his publication to a rival and had sought employment elsewhere. A veteran investigator, Thoedore was soon recruited by Meldersen, the president of the Bureau at that time. The two colleagues often shared dinners or drinks at the pub after a long day of investigation and research.

Aspic records the moment in his memoir I Knew Meldersen and You Are No Meldersen:

Meldersen was very fond of his work with the Bureau. He was explaining how he had gathered together the finest historians, reconstructive archaeologists, researchers, literary experts, linguists, and chefs at the Bureau. I was feeling rather ticked off that he left off journalists from his very inclusive list.
So I told him so. "Meldersen," I hollered, "You are a fat slob of an aelfant. Stop bragging about who you hired to know and tell us what you know".
"I know you can’t hold onto a paper with both hands and a sack," he retorted.
He had the gall to say that to me. But then again he was Meldersen. I stood on my barstool, pointed my finger at him and shouted, "I know more about everything than you will ever find out about anything."
He just about doubled over. I had not only spilled my drink onto the cute waitress at the pub, but I had also hopelessly slurred my momentous speech into a meaningless string of syllables that sounded something like two chuckarandos gnawing on a Fefferberry bush.

Later that week, Aspic tendered his resignation and founded the Odlucian Library as the first Master Librarian. Meldersen proved to be a valuable resource as his recently formed Bureau of Recovered Knowledge provided much of the early material for the Library. The two organizations maintain friendly relations with many of their staff having worked in both institutions.

The position of Master Librarian carries with it an awesome responsibility. Master Librarians have been called upon to be the arbiters of facts. This was never more pronounced than when Johanniz Fremple M.L. was called upon to be the judge for the prize Fefferberry in the Calends Gala. His granddaughter was competing and he may have unfairly skewed the results (far be it from this humble researcher to suggest that a Master Librarian either cheated or was incorrect). For the next year, the gyup was substantially smaller than typical and so recipes printed in the year -17 EC are almost routinely doubled in order to make a decent portion of anything.

Other duties of the Master Librarian include the naming of Author Laureate and judging darseeds at the Calends Galas. An exact replica of the Rod of Quiends is kept in the Master Librarian's care as well.

The complete list of all four of the Master Librarians, past and present, is as follows:

From (EC)To (EC)Master Librarian Name
-75-56Thoedore Aspic
-56-30Meldersen
-30-12Johanniz Fermple
-12nowSlilmornay Rockett

Whereabouts and Organization

Placed strategically on the side of a valley near the quiet hamlet of Odlucia, the Library has a commanding view of the Bureau of Forgotten Knowledge’s main building, known as The Cake. Librarians enjoy calling the act of sitting on the balcony overlooking the valley and enjoying a cup of Umlaut Tea flavored with Odlucian whiskey as "Tea with Cake". The Library itself is an imposing edifice made with sweeping galleries to connect the various wings and exhibits. The front of the building has an enormous façade that, when viewed from a certain angle, appears as two arms raised to the sky. It is this view of the Library that appears on the reverse of the goon.

The Library itself consists of several wings surrounding a main hall which is mostly an exhibit area for items of particular interest and administrative offices. Some items, such as the gallstones of King Harandraff the Great, are on permanent display in the foyer and other items, such as the highly controversial Journey Up Ecstasy Lane exhibit, rotate in and out of the displays.

The surrounding wings are broken down by subject: Music and Arts, Religion and Philosophy, Technology and Engineering, Fiction and Folk Tales, Trade and Agriculture, History and Biography, Medicine and Biology, The Unknown and Speculation and the Black Hall.

Certain private collections have been donated to the Odlucian Library and have necessitated the creation of special wings to house the subject matter. The Archives of the Unquisition are one such collection as are the research files of BORK.

While most of the contents of such wings are open to the public, only the Black Hall is completely sealed from any but the highest placed officials and scholars. Its contents are matter for speculation, but many believe that it contains dangerous or forbidden knowledge that needed to be catalogued but there was nowhere safe or secure enough to do so. It is also rumored to have something to do with a mysterious monk from the Vale of Oddbag.

Items of Interest

The Library has a most complete collection of works including all of Doc Rockett's written works and correspondence. They have the only original copy of Bordingbras his hatt! and one of the oldest known copies of "Hattie's Day" known to exist.

Because of the cost of constantly having to replace copies of the book Jemima and the Square Do-Gooders, the library finally bought the rights to the novel and prints its own copies as needed. The triple-secured nanit-thick glass that protects the original manuscript is a favorite of visitors who delight in throwing heavy objects at it to show their appreciation.

All the works of the Author Laureates dating back to the founding of the library are available, as well as a substantial number prior to that date, including a few original works of Arariax. There are also two transcriptions of the "Echecharion" dating back to roughly -70 EC.

Summary

No researcher could do better to summarize the mission, importance or majesty of the undertaking that is known as the Odlucian Library better than the inscription that graces the entrance hall to the main foyer of the building itself. The graceful lines of Ternary Script spell out these words:

Built on the foundation of knowledge,
Held aloft by the thirst for knowledge,
Steeped in the wisdom of ages,
Polished by the hands of learning,
Warmed by the light of truth,
Carried into the future.

Addendum: Other Libraries

Few other libraries exist that can rival the Odlucian Library, but this list of other prominent sources may prove useful to researchers.

Citations: Meldersen, Black Hall, Bureau of Recovered Knowledge.

--Dr. H. L. Ackroyd 12:30, 21 Jan 2005 (EST)

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