Monday, July 15, 2013

Research Rebuffs

I’m currently involved in an ongoing, and frustrating, saga that revolves around around me attempting to secure some documents long distance from the British Library for the purposes of adding them to my monograph.

It all started because I found something from the Lansdowne MS that I wanted to include, a bit of narrative about an illicit marriage in 1605 between Charles Blount, Earl of Devonshire, and Penelope, Lady Rich as reflected in a letter from Devonshire to James I and VI. I already had the passage I wanted to quote from a published catalogue of the Lansdowne Manuscripts but, while it did include the folio number, it didn’t include the date of the letter. So that’s how it started, with me tracking down various other sources trying to find the date of the letter, emailing friends in London to see if they’d do me a solid and swing by the BL to check it out, contacting reference specialists in the Manuscripts and Maps Department, etc.

But, from the there, it was down the rabbit hole for me in that I found about 4 other manuscripts related to the illicit marriage that I now also want to view. So I’ve gone from needing a date on one folio to working out how I can get the BL to make scans of about 30 pages of material from various collections and then mail them to me so I can transcribe them and get them into the book. Failing that (I’m expecting that at least some of the documents may be too fragile to scan – ah, the joys of working with documents from the early 1600s), I’m hoping to convince a London pal to give up an afternoon making some transcriptions for me…in exchange for me buying them a dinner. And I may even have to post on H-Net (a humanities scholars’ message board) to try to hire someone. All of this is to say that it’s been a frustrating week and that, in this moment, I dearly miss proximity to my precious archives. Long-distance research is a real pain.

skirt: Zara / shirt: Zara / jacket: F21 / sandals: Spring / purse: Michael Kors / necklace: Tattered Rose


Closet Fashionista said...

Loving this look! And yowza sounds like quite an ordeal, but it must be cool finding all this stuff! :D

LyddieGal said...

Sorry you've been struggling with some research roadblocks, that sounds so frustrating!

Love your studded sandals - I'd love a pair like these!
Chic on the Cheap

welldressedmaker said...

GAH long distance research sounds like a pain! And I know the feeling of uncovering more material you want to read more about. It's like the research never ends. I'm sure it'll work itself out though-- it always does!

JennaStevie said...

Long distance research? Sounds like a nightmare!! Research in general isn't my favourite thing to do, so adding an ocean between you and your reference material would be hell. I hope it works out!
Love this layered look!!

Marie a la Mode said...

Love that bag! Sorry to hear about your frustration : ( Hope everything works out!

Cee said...

Poor you! There is nothing worse than needing a piece of information that you just can't get your hands on, whatever the reason. I hope this all get sorted out soon! In the meantime, I love your bag :)


Gosh, i can just imagine, I used to have to go through that when I did 18/19th cent. costuming. It was a battle sometimes to get proper info from people. I do hope it all works out soon. I love your maxi skirt! xx/Madison

Jessica said...

I hope you can find someone to help you out. I do a lot of research at work but I cannot imagine trying to research something so far away.

I love your sandals. I have a thing for shoes with studs on them.

Tracy @

Closet Fashionista said...


his_girl_friday said...

I just love that there once existed a scandalous woman named Penelope, Lady Rich!

Hannah said...

Great look all around, but I especially love the studded sandals!


Oh to Be a Muse said...

I hope this ends in a big payoff for you and that you actually get what you're looking for as far as the research is concerned.

Lovely summer casual look--gorgeous sandals.

Oh to Be a Muse
Shop Layered Muse

Isabel said...

if only you could hop on a plane! i hear the weather is nice and hot in london right now.

Isabel @ Walk of Fashion

noone said...

oh man it sucks not getting the imformation you need from people for work! hopefully next week works out better for you!