Titanic Text Demystifying historical study

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Jan 31, 2001
A very informative and organized piece, Randy. It was a great idea of you to write this for beginning researchers. Great work!



Inger Sheil

Feb 9, 1999
Does exactly what it says on the tin...demystifies the research process. An invaluable guide with plenty of very practical advice and suggestions for novices, and a good refresher for everyone. Hopefully this excellent article will inspire the many talented individuals interested in this subject who are a bit at sea when it comes to where to begin investigating primary sources. There was certainly a need for this article, and Randy has fulfilled it admirably.
Mar 20, 2000
Hi, everyone and thanks for the kudos. But this was a "Team ET" effort, starting with Phil Hind, whose idea it was to have a guide to help new researchers. Also, the experts I contacted each took time out of busy schedules to give their insight, which is the core of the piece.

A more intellectual approach could have been taken, but I’m no academic, just a journalist.

To Vera, especially, thank you. You are in our hearts. May God bless you.


Steven Hall

Aug 8, 2001
Excellent article.
If I could add - always listen carefully, prepare questions, stick to the subject. Always get someone to proof-read your work when finished.
Most researchers started off knowing little, they had a fire in their belly for a particular aspect of the Titanic. Once Titanic has got you - she never lets you go.
Lastly - be prepared to spend a few $$/s. You'll likely never get it back - though you'd be enriched by knowledge acquired.
Try not to align yourself with any particular group of individuals — seek advice from everyone. If you are seen to side with one group, the others will appear to have shut the door in your face.
I talk to everyone — I found that works best for me.
Don’t talk badly about others — the Titanic community is very close. Bad news travels faster then good news and trust me, the walls appear to have ears.
Lastly — when you post here; you’d be surprised to know who reads it.

Steve Hall
Jul 9, 2000
Easley South Carolina
>>A more intellectual approach could have been taken, but I’m no academic, just a journalist.<<

If I may, Randy, I think that's why your article works as well as it does. An in-depth academic magnum opus might cover all the little details and what have you, but I doubt anyone would be inclined to read it, (They'ed be passing out from pure boredom!) so what good would it do?

None that I can think of.

There's a lot to be said for plain speaking and readability as it keeps the readers attention long enough for them to get the message. You understand that and that's how you worked it.

Dave Moran

Apr 23, 2002
Thanks very much - highly informative and useful

Your wise words apply to a much wider scope than you may realise - even unto other historical research.

Warmest regards

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