Monday, July 22, 2013

Further surprises in the archive

After my last post, things at Small Archive improved: the archivist made some phone calls and arranged for me to have access to the manuscript for a third day; I got useful work done (involving some modest but real research surprises); and on my last day I encountered, quite by accident, someone who was thrilled to have me there.

I was sitting looking at the manuscript in a spare librarian's office (the special collections room being used for other things, including storage), when someone came through looking for the librarian.

"Oh!" He said, encountering me instead. "Hello! I see you're looking at one of our treasures!"

Oh, um, yeah. I said.

He introduced himself as a historian who sits on a board that advises Small Archive. When he heard what I was doing, he invited me to lunch, introduced me around, and showed me a few local sights associated with the author of the manuscript--who has an important connection to institution that houses the archive.

As I left, he asked to be kept in the loop once the edition comes out, as the institution would love to host a celebration.


So yes, as several of the comments to my last post noted: there are advantages as well as hassles to working at less research-oriented archives.


Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Wow! That's a cool connection to make! I love when things like this happen.

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

How wonderful! Love your archives posts---I'm staying home this summer and I want to be in England. Or somewhere else, anyway. Thus I am living vicariously here.

Comradde PhysioProffe said...

Very fucken coolio! Definitely enjoying your archive posts. It sounds like hanging around archives is so fun!

Susan said...

Well, and your little archive is research oriented, it just doesn't have much for researchers. So it's an ideal combination, because those nearby are all committed to research.

And publication party would be cool.

Flavia said...


I figured "less-research-oriented" was less perjorative than Historiann's "less professionalized." They're run by professions--they just aren't geared toward the needs of post-degree researchers.