The internet is a fabulous tool but nothing compares to viewing research documents in the flesh. I’m smack in the middle of a research project and although I could read some of the documents on-line, information was gleamed from handling the actual reference material in hand. In this particular case, on-line, I could see the publication date was 1915, but from the actual book in the British Library, I learned that not only was it published in 1915, but there was a little stamp in the back of the book indicating that the library had received the first edition on August 30 1915, and the second edition, on September 15 1915. Now upon first read this may appear to be of little information. But I was able to realise from this little stamp three crucial things, either the author was not pleased with the first edition, or it sold out and had to be reprinted, or new information from the war had been made available to the public, thus affecting the old text. Comparing both editions, I was able to discern the differences in the actual text which reflected historical data. This change in the text would not have been noticed had I just relied on the internet. The internet is a fabulous starting point for gathering the base level of research, but nothing compares to going to the various libraries and archives to get the whole story. Truth be told…I’ll use any excuse to pop into a library and spend a few hours back in time.
Ted’s Day Out, a short story available on Amazon
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