It’s all about the process

Archival Tidbit for Today:

My dissertation has multiple — and I mean MULTIPLE — primary sources from which I am drawing, which on a practical level means I have lots and lots of shit to look at spread all over the damn place. It’s not all centralized. It’s not all sitting there with big blue flags on it that say “Andrew, read me!” when I walk in the door. I have to find it. And then I have to read it. This is both fun and a pain (lately more of a pain).

But sometimes, you find something buried in a stack of files that just makes your day — because some intrepid, but probably bored, staffer in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs did your research for you, except they did it in the late1960s!

Today, I ordered a file from the DFA files at the National Archives of Ireland that the finding aid simply called ‘Press clippings on EEC 1967-70′. When I got the huge file (the biggest at least that I had worked with so far), I was happy to note that they had all these articles clipped from Irish (mainly Dublin) newspapers about the EEC debate in Ireland, including letters to the editor and articles describing local meetings and debates in the Dublin area on the issue.

Suddenly, with a couple more afternoons of work, I don’t need to peruse so many bloody newspaper microfilm rolls as thoroughly as I would have had to before. And now I have some direct leads on local societies that engaged the EEC debate. And there are other files of press clippings for different periods as well!

Thanks anonymous Irish DFA staffer! I’ll be sure to thank you in my book.


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