Perhaps Spielberg wasn’t so far off. After all, if you were Abner Ravenwood, trying to get your research into the hands of Indiana Jones, then sending it to the University of Chicago’s “Henry Walton Jones Jr.” is probably your best shot.
Student workers at the University of Chicago’s mailroom didn’t recognize the name at first, but when they figured out that the package was intended for the university’s most famous fictional professor, they opened it up to see what was inside.
The answer: a treasure trove.
The package contained a very detailed handmade replica of Abner Ravenwood’s journal from Raiders of the Lost Ark. The U. of C.’s Tumblr reports, “The book itself is a bit dusty, and the cover is teal fabric with a red velvet spine, with weathered inserts and many postcards/pictures of Marion Ravenwood (and some cool old replica money) included. It’s clear that it is mostly but not completely handmade, as although the included paper is weathered, all of the ‘handwriting’ and calligraphy lacks the telltale pressure marks of actual handwriting.”
What no one seems to know is where the journal came from. The building address on the package used to house the geology and geography departments but is currently the home of admissions. If you happen to have an idea of the journal’s source, you can help them out with an e-mail hint.
Our best guess is that the package comes from a would-be freshman. It’s application season, after all, and the fact that the journal was addressed to the building that houses the admissions office is notable. So is the fact that the University of Chicago is known for its unusual application questions and that its typical student tends to be some mix of “quirky, cerebral and literary.” How better could such a student show off his or her passion for the college—and his or her extraordinary diligence—than by the loving recreation of such an artifact?
Or, in the words of the U. of C.’s admissions office, “Why so awesome?”