checking back in

01Jul08

I made it to the archives yesterday; didn’t today. The rest of the week is shot since a friend and I are going on a mini-vacation Thursday. My hope is that I’ll get a ton of rest during our trip. Some of you have pointed to my sleep/morning routine as a possible problem and I think that’s quite right, or at least it was this morning.

As for leaving London, I’ve backed down a bit. Friday night I discussed the situation with a friend over dinner. He said, and I agree, that nothing’s really going to be solved by my leaving. So I’ll stick it out until late August, at which point I’ll reevaluate. If I’ve still gotten nothing done by that point, I’ll have to revisit this issue. Also, it’s probably time to email the advisor and set up a meeting.

I’m also planning to go to a different archive next week, just to switch things up a bit. I still haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to move quickly through these sources; I’m still working with the volume I started working with in late May. No wonder there’s no motivation; I know I won’t finish the volume if I go today. I know I won’t finish it in a week. In fact, I flipped through the remainder of the volume yesterday; I was in the early 300s (although not really since I have to go back through the pages of handwriting that I thought I was going to take photos of) and this volume goes well into the 500s. It really was disheartening, especially since I do need virtually every scrap of information in this volume. This won’t be the case for every source I consult.  I need to have another think about the digital camera because I don’t have weeks/months to get through the occasional volumes that require such painstaking work. This volume is six weeks’ worth of government correspondence; there are probably another five or six of them that I’ll need to consult for this one chapter alone. At this pace, I could spend the remaining time just going through this one series of files for this fairly short period. That’s not going to work quite frankly.

Speaking of frankness, servetus suggested that my project may be too big. I agree. I had specific reasons for picking such a broad timespan but that may be a project for “the book”, if I ever make it there. It’s something I need to think seriously about and inevitably I’ll need to have a conversation with the advisor.

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