Thursday, 10 March 2011
WW I Contemporary Documents Site - finding gold?
In addition to painting, collecting and gaming with minis, one aspect that brought me into this hobby was history learning and research. Actually I'm an economist by profession (and this has allowed earning a good life so far), but initially I wanted to be a historian and if not now a professional in that field at least I have developed myself as a good "aficionado".
In the past the possibility of reading not just original documents but even having access to books on the matters that were of interest to me was difficult when not impossible... without considering the cost of ordering foreign books in any bookshop in Madrid. Yes there was another different life before Amazon...I still remember in the mid-late 80s and early 90s travelling to London on business trips and, after finishing my meetings with the clients in The City, running to Foyle's to buy history books, just before rushing to Heathrow to catch the plane back to Madrid.
But Internet has changed everything (for good int his case!) and, if anything, one can only complain that too many information is easily available and sometimes it's really difficult to separate the good from the bad findings.
Today, for example, I was "googleing" searching for documents that were mentioned in the bibliography section of Stephen Bull's Stoostruppentaktik when I (literally) bumped into this incredible site. Here we have an anonymous guy called Ian Druid that have uploaded over 600 original contemporary documents (yes, SIX HUNDRED, haven't put too many "zeroes") related to the WWI period.
As you imagine I haven't had the time to dig into much depth into this well of information, but I'm really excited just with the first document in the list: an intelligence allied document published in 1917 called "Notes on recent operations" or a kind of "lessons learned" from the Germans attacks. I will hopefully find over the next days some gold pieces. But isn't it incredible?