Anything left to research


Jun 18, 2007
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Are there any areas left for an unseasoned researcher to tackle? I'm not new to the subject of the Titanic at all, and have wanted to do research for years, but lack of money and the utter inability to communicate with the right people have made this impossible.

So, if I were to be so fortunate as to be able to undertake research, how would I go about it? Please don't tell me to go look in books, as I have been there, done that. In terms of contacting people, who would I need to contact, and how can you get the assistance of anyone when you have no published credentials to your name? I'm an anonymous yutz, so I can't imagine I could persuade anyone to let me have access to records, letters, etc. they would rightfully want to keep to themselves.

So, what's an idiot to do?
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Bill DeSena

Guest
Hi Ktitina,

There does seem to be a saturation effect when it comes to the Titanic, no pun intended. I suppose a guide book like "An Idiot's Guide to Titanic" has just as much charm appeal as some of the other books that have popped up in recent years and could actually be useful to students and writers if done well.

Best wishes and I'm sure your no idiot!

Cheers
Bill
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Kritina -- there are far more questions than answers about all aspects of the Titanic story. That's what keeps us all interested. In fact, once you "go aboard" the ship, it is almost impossible to leave. Stick around reading the various posts and pretty soon you'll find yourself "hooked."

-- David G. Brown
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
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Kritina:
One area that is always interesting is trying to find out more about the passengers and/or crew who had a geographical connection to the area you are living in. Start out by punching in the name of your home city or state in the ET browser window and find out who the locals were. Then, find out all the references to them on the ET board and in your own Titanic book collection.

Now you are ready to branch out on your own, and to find informatiuon about them that others do not know. Go to your local library and find microfilms of the local newspapers from 1912 and see if there is information about locals. If you don't know how, the local librarians are always hepful. Another source of information is the "phone" directories of the time. I put phone in quotation marks because early directories were just address directories, and individual phones did not become commonplace until after WWII. The directories are usually in an area near the newspaper archives.

You never know what you will find. While looking through all the Pasadena, California phone books awhile back for listings on Mahala Douglas, I was taken aback by the fact that, even though her husband Walter had died on the Titanic, she never re-married, and for the rest of her life she listed herself in the directory as Douglas, Mahala (widow, Walter).
This inspite of the fact that she did not die until 1945.
Another passenger lived all her life in Northern California, married to a man with a fairly difficult Scandanavian name. When her husband died and the directory listed her only, she spelled the last name slightly different from then on.
Just little things, but there are few huge discoveries left to make, just collections of little ones that keep adding up.

There are also untapped areas for new information in the old census records, the new Ellis Island online records, and geneolgy websites.

Frankly, once you really get into it, you will find there are more resources than there is time available.

You asked about credentials and other researchers, and confidentiality. You already have all the credentials you need -- you are fascinated by the history of the Titanic. And, along the way, other researchers and even relatives will cross your path and help you. When that happens, always treat the pieces of new information that they pass on to you as a trust, and make sure that it is OKay to pass it on to others. If not, don't pass it on. Many Titanic friendships have been ruined forever by people who violate this rule.

Hope this gives you a few ideas.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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So start with Lucile. Get to know her the way some of the other passenger oriented researchers have.

Regarding whether or not there is something left to research, it seems to me that new stuff comes up all the time. Phil Gowan and Brian Miester can surely tell you things about tracking down passengers that simply faded away into obscurity.

If you're interested in technical aspects, there is plenty of fodder there. It's likely the strangest irony that the Titanic is both one of the most over documented shipwrecks in history, yet the least understood. David Brown's book is an example of a gent who did a lot of homework and who attempted to explain the disaster from a mariners point of view. My understanding is that he has taken quite a bit of heat for it too,(See the less then flattering review in Voyage on David's book) but that's what happens when you call long standing theories and assumptions into question. With the Titanic, things are not always what they appear to be and he's shown that in spades.

Let's not forget Parks Stephenson who is doing yeoman work on the Marconi set-up. Some of his work is available on his website. Also there is Ken Marschall's write up on the recent dives to the Titanic and what is the most extensive internal survey of the wreck of all time.

Even more new work is coming out, vis a vis Senan Maloney's new book on the Californian Incident. By all accounts that I'm hearing, this one is going to make people stop and think regardless of where they stand on the issue. While I don't know if I'll agree with it in the end, I am well aware of Senan's talants as a researcher who is both indefatigueable and relentless. I plan to order it ASAP.

Then there's Inger Sheil and Kerri Sundberg who are constantly working on the Titanic's officers. In sum, there is plenty out there to do.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Jun 18, 2007
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As for Mrs. Carter, she's already been covered.

I'm starting to think that Titanic researchers are a closed society. The researchers who are already doing the work are the only ones who will be doing it for the next God knows how many years...it's enough to make me throw away all of my years's interest in this subject. No topic is worth this much frustration.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Sign on with us techies then.
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The fact that there is so much that is ongoing means that there is so much left to learn. Either way, don't be discouraged.

Failing that, parse the bio section here on ET. Notice that there are a lot of bios there with barely more then a paragraph or two. Some of this is due in no small part to the fact that there is not an awful lot known about some of these people.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Jun 18, 2007
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I've been through the bios (in fact, I have folders full of them, literally...I made the laser printers at my old college beg for mercy, let me tell you!). And I've seen the work that Inger has done (literally, I just stayed with her last week). And I'm well aware of the work others have done (just because I haven't posted here much does not mean I am a "newbie" to these boards or this subject). And I honestly don't think I can offer anything new. I don't know the right people to contact.

Oh well, I've got some Titanic books and videos to get rid of, I suppose. Sorry I don't have any to offer to anyone...unless you've been looking for a copy of Davie's book.
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Jemma Hyder

Guest
Hey Kritina,

The gatekeeper returns lol. I'm glad to see you're home safe and well
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I'm on an absolute mission now to come up with a scorcher of an idea for you. You are an intelligent and focused individual and I know given the resources and the opportunity you will make a fantastic researcher!

Best Wishes

Jemma
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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Kritina,
Don't be discouraged about researching any subject you like. If Titanic researchers are a closed society, that's their personal problem. Don't let it take away your personal joy of discovery. That's half the fun! There are untapped markets who will appreciate your research and publish your freelance articles.

I spent five years working on a Titanic project as a hobby. When I was nearly completed, I thought it selfish to keep it to myself, so I thought I'd share it with the world in the form of a book. Then last year I discovered this website and it became apparent that others had already covered the same material I was working on! But folks here have been very supportive, encouraging me to continue, although I couldn't see the point if the information was online in one place. My friends told me, yes, it's here, but computers crash and websites have technical problems and it's nice to just have it in your hands. So see? It's not as closed as you may think!

You might think there is nothing left to cover after the hundreds of books already written about Titanic, but perhaps there is. And perhaps you'll be the one to find it! There are plenty of survivors and lost passengers/crew we have yet to discover information about. Check the list, and you'll see it's true.

Good luck and enjoy the hunt!
Kyrila Scully
 

Kyrila Scully

Member
Apr 15, 2001
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BTW, if you DO have books and videos about Titanic, feel free to list them here. There's always someone who is missing something from their collection.

Kyrila
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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G'day Kritina - good to see you home safe after travel hiccups, and posting again.

I know we thrashed out this subject a few times while you were here, and you're aware of my position that there is still a tremendous amount to be done - much of it accessible by correspondence and interlibrary newspaper loans. But I do think I see where you're coming from, a position where it all seems a blank impenetrable wall. The trick is to find that crack in the wall and dig in until it comes down. Unfortunately, saying that doesn't really give you a specific suggestion as to how about doing it.

As I remember, though, your instincts on what to follow up and potential leads were good ones - it can be just a matter of getting started.

I don't know if you're interested in a collaborative effort, but there's a particular aspect of Moody's NY connections I want to trace which should be possible without travelling to NY. Let me know if you're interested in working on this project.

All the best,

Ing
 

Ben Holme

Member
Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Kritina,

I'm interested that you should bring up this subject, as I can empathise with a lost of what you've said. If your interest centers around Titanic's passengers and crew, my advice would be to work on the premise that little prior research has been conducted into that individual, however famous or notorious the personality. That way, you may uncover new material or even rectify exisiting errors in the "accepted" history of that passenger/crew member. No passenger can be entirely "covered", so it wouldn't do any harm to persue Lucile Carter's background further. It is entirely possible that "new ground" could be broken.

Personally, I consider the internet to be an invaluable tool for contacting relatives. Genealogical research is especially popular these days, and there are numerous sites dedictated to this line of enquiry. You will often find a Titanic descendant posting there. I have found that most passenger relatives I have contacted are only too delighted that an outsider is showing an interest in their family ancestry (with one of two exceptions!).

Although there may be other researchers with more experience, this shouldn't be a deterrent for continued interest in the subject. More often that not, you will always know something that they don't. Provided it does not degenerate into "one-upmanship", a bit of healthy competiton can provide an incentive to "keep at it" even thugh I believe a collectibe brain would be preferable and ET is, of course, the closest thing to that.

Or if you're interested in advice on researching the technical/physical aspect of Titanic.....errm...

Best Regards,
Ben
 
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Jemma Hyder

Guest
Kritina,

I too have something NY related that needs tracking if you're interested?

Cheers

Jemma
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Dec 2, 2000
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Kritina, as one American Naval hero once said, don't give up the ship. As I indicated, the fact that research is on-going points to the fact that there are a lot of unanswered questions out there. The road may be long and frustrating, but persistance can bring the rewards.

One example I can think of is Senan Maloney's "The Irish Aboard Titanic" It took him several years to research this and some of the entries are still noticably skimpy because information was either unavailable or unlocated. Who's to say that something you persue might not answer some of these questions?

You never know until you try!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Kyrila Scully

Member
Apr 15, 2001
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Hi Kritina,

I live in South Florida, and I've been asked frequently by Jewish people about Jews aboard Titanic. I've seen a books about the Canadians Aboard Titanic, Scandinavians Aboard Titanic, Irish Aboard Titanic, etc. But unless I'm wrong, there's nothing specifically out there about the Jews Aboard Titanic, and I know the people I perform for would love something along this line. This could be a subject you could pursue if you're interested.

Kyrila
 
Jun 18, 2007
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I think it would probably be more pleasant to everyone if I went and played in traffic, but that's just boring, so I'll ask this question instead...

From a personal perspective, what passengers or crew do you think have not had enough attention focused on them?

(Hey, this can either hurt or help me...probably the first!
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Dec 2, 2000
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You might try Second Class believe it or not. You always seem to be hearing about the glitz and glamour of the rich, or the opposite extreme for the poor who traveled in 3rd class, but who really pays attention to second class beyond hard core researchers and enthusiasts such as ourselves?

Not many at all. Second class is practically invisible!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

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