- Notorious Ph.D., Girl Scholar, is back with Part III of her series, “A Day in the Archives.” (Parts I and II are here.) In this installment, she offers a wonderful, detailed primer about how to photograph documents digitally in an archive. (She’s down on transcription, because “it takes time, and you can’t check your work later. And since a lot of North American researchers only have 1-3 months at a time in the archives, we generally go for option 2, which is to get a copy of the document.”) I’ll put in a word for transcription, however: it means you do your research right then and there in the archive. (I work in archives that don’t permit the photocopying of manuscripts.) Everyone has to make hir own decisions about gathering evidence and ideas–as Notorious notes, it also depends on the condition of your documents and the amount of time you have. But for me, the best part of archival research is reading a document, taking notes on it, and daydreaming about all of the fabulous ways I can use it in my many sure-to-be prizewinning future publications.
- Inspired by Notorious’s example, Clio’s Disciple has posted a nice companion piece called “Days in the Little Archives,” which is a handy guide to navigating smaller provincial archives like those at the county or municipal level; parish, diocesan or archdiocesan archives; or smaller historical societies and libraries. (I’m not sure what the equivalent smaller archives would be called outside of the U.S. or Canada–check out Clio’s Disciple’s post and please enlighten me in the comments below.)
- Lesboprof wishes she would have played the lion instead of the lamb in “I coulda been a contender!” Instead of a bum, which is what she is. I’ll let her explain: “I was looking at the candidates for what could honestly be my dream job in the future, and I had a sudden realization. I might have been a contender for the job…right now! Not in five years, not after promotion to full professor, not after an intermediate administrative post, but right freakin’ now! Not a shoo-in, by any means, but the pool is looking a little shallow if these candidates are the best for the job. Of course, I hadn’t applied, thinking it was beyond my current standing.” She continues, “perhaps this is a particularly female way of looking at moving up. Many male leaders I see have no compunction against reaching for a much higher position, skipping steps along the way. There seems to be a different approach to taking on leadership positions, a “Sure I can” approach, rather than a “I’m not sure if I can” fear. They seem more comfortable blustering and fumbling their way through until they have figured out the parameters of the new position and made it their own.” Lesboprof asks in the end, “Have any of you skipped steps in your path to administrative jobs in higher ed? How did you manage your self-doubts?”
- India Knight says she’s so over Catholicism in “Holy Father, I can stay no longer in this Church of disgust.” She writes, “my daughter was baptised because we feared she might die — she had complicated open-heart surgery a few weeks after she was born, and for some reason I found the sacrament intensely comforting. Beautiful, too.” But, “it’s hard to pay lip-service to a faith that you feel hates you; a faith that would rather let you die in childbirth than have an abortion, won’t let you take the contraception necessary to prevent said abortion, hates gay people despite having many homosexual priests; a faith that talks ignorant nonsense about HIV and Aids, that would rather watch people die in Africa than let them use a condom; a faith that is unbelievably slow to say sorry about the fact that some of its members are habitual rapists of children.”
- English Proffie and Folklorist Rose at Romantoes writes in “Dear, Pretty Fairmont” about the hidden or forgotten transnational history and foodways of Fairmount, West Virginia. (Come for the Pepperoni Rolls, stay for the Russian mine tour!)
- Here’s one for all of you old-timers like me out there: Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, and Rockpile covering Elvis Costello’s Girls Talk. (Do you believe how young Lowe and Edmunds look in this vid?)
“I just wanna hear girls talk! . . . Girls talk and they wanna know how! Girls talk and they say it’s not allowed! Girls talk and they think they know how!”