Deeper Than Indigo – Transcending Time

by Tim

I’d wager that most historians are hooked on history primarily for the thrill of research, leafing through archives, puzzling over old photographs, wandering down side-streets in obscure places in search of long forgotten buildings where the events or people we are researching once happened or inhabited. Publication in the form of articles or books, and presentations in the form of talks or conference papers can be rewarding, but, for me at any rate, they don’t come anywhere close to the feeling of actively being engaged in digging down to find the bedrock of research which belies all our work. It’s a thrill which we often discuss amongst ourselves. It’s quite common for historians on Twitter to post photographs of the doorways to libraries or archives they are about to enter, with a gleeful note of anticipation – saying they are entering for a day of trawling through the archives. “I maybe sometime …” No need to send a search party if I don’t emerge, because I’m happily immersed in my element. The past is a foreign country, and many of us would be more than happy to permanently emigrate there!

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