There is great deal of satisfaction that comes with entering the world of an archival collection, creating order out of disorder, and preparing materials for use by future researchers. Yet the joy of archiving also stems from encounters with strange and unexpected materials, like this tiny artifact from the Irving Wallace collection:
Central to Wallace’s novel The Word is the discovery of a lost gospel–the Gospel According to James. As a gift to people who assisted him throughout the writing and publishing process, Wallace had one hundred of these mementos printed and distributed. Wallace’s gospel is thirteen pages long and light as a feather. As for its content, the tiny book makes a big claim: the resurrection never happened, Wallace’s James insists, because Jesus survived the crucifixion as a mortal.