I don’t normally indulge in blogging about blogging but recent events have prompted me to pause and reflect upon two and a half years spent blogging about the world of Georgian caricature prints and the purpose and value of the material that has appeared on this site in that time.
Casual blogging will never provide an adequate substitute for the sort of rigorously researched academic study that still forms the bedrock of all good historical inquiry but nor is it an entirely ephemeral and valueless medium. Blogging can bring a fresh approach to the prevailing academic consensus and provide a platform from which discussions can be initiated, ideas tested and resources shared. I strongly believe that meaningful historical discourse should not be the sole preserve of those who are either lucky enough to work in academia, or to have a publishing deal under their belts. Nor to I believe that we should refrain from discussing and theorising about history in public in case our errors or unproven ideas are mistakenly interpreted by others as statements of fact. One of the ways in which I feel that I can help encourage others to engage with a subject that I am passionate about is by sharing more of my sources and research materials. As someone who lacks the backing of an academic institution and who is also geographically remote from many of the ‘national’ repositories of historical material which remain tucked away in a corner of southeast England, I have come to view free, open-access, sites like the British Museum’s online catalogue, Google Books, Archive.org and many others as being essential tools of the blogging trade. So, from today you will notice that the sidebar of the blog has a new link to a Resources section. I will be using this as a public repository for my source material and anything else I can share with you without running the risk of gross copyright infringement. Do with it what you will. Let a thousand flowers bloom.