Monthly Archives: June 2015

Treasure hunt in the archive

The most exciting phase in historical research is to explore new archives. If you are a historian, I hope, you agree with me. The thrill is particularly high in archives with rudimentary documentation, where you can only guess what might be behind a particular shelfmark. Sometimes you have to find your way by trial and error. It’s like treasure hunting – there is a vague promise to find something highly valuable, but you never know whether and when you will find a grain of gold. The fun of treasure hunting, however, goes much beyond looking for the one piece of precious metal.

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