20 June 2008

Old skool research

Originally uploaded by triviaqueen
I remembered today why I have glasses: microfilm. (I didn't get them until after 4th year of University, a year I spent working with many reels of newspapers.) I really, really hate working with it, but the BC Newspaper index, prior to 1991, is only available in this format. Ugh.

Anyway, I spent a little over two hours winding and unwinding index reels and reels of the Victoria Times from the mid-1960s and managed to almost answer one mystery that has been bothering me for some time; the full answer will likely require a trip to the Esquimalt archives, but I got much closer than I had expected. (And, yes, this is all part of the local history stuff I am working on.)

I had also forgotten how easy it is to get sidetracked while skimming through old newspapers -- ads for movies; grocery store ads with deals that now look amazing; headlines that could have been written today (I read one story about Victoria's "hot" real estate market -- sales from Jan-April 1966 totalled $5.6 million) -- and how tiring the work is. Still, I felt like today was not wasted; now I have to figure out when I can carve out another block of time for research...

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