Monday, October 17, 2005

Historical Methods and Interpretations

My mother worked for the college library at Georgia Southern College for twenty-something years. On the nights she worked late, when I was in the 8th Grade and for three years in high school; I would ride the school bus to the college campus and then spend the next five or six hours in the library waiting for her to get off work. I like to say, I literally "grew up" in a college library. I initially spent my time in the library reading and sometimes later "researching" subjects that were of interest to me. I also ended up be assigned simple tasks like re-shelving books, dusting, etc.

One of the reasons I enjoyed the time we spent in the GC&SU library last Tuesday night was to see how much computers and the "Information Age" has changed library research. In the old days, when researching a topic you went to the card catalog and looked for books delving with your particular subject. There was always the readers guide to look up articles in the bound perioditicals or newspapers the library had on microfilm.
Even back then there was "Interlibrary Loan," but the wait to get a book in from another library could be as long as two or three weeks. That was about it, research sources were rather scant in many ways in the old Georgia Southern's library. Today, thanks to modern computers, we literally have an "explosion" of historical tomes,papers and information available for researching almost any historical subject. My, how times have changed, and for the better! Thank You for the library trip Dr.Vess!

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