The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Rant # 1/infinity

Good thing I'm only starting the PhD process. Y'all have so many more of these little rants to look forward to! ;-)

So I'm tracking down sources, and because my topic of interest is so arcane, specialized, and under-researched, this is somewhat difficult. The results will, I hope, be worthwhile, but the process is frustrating.

Today's frustration: Museums Journal accessibility online. May I just say that the Museums Association online database is totally terrible? That is to say, the search engine brings up no results no matter what you search for? And since I'm searching for a specific article from 1961, and not a random string of words, this is totally unacceptable. Never mind that I am not a member and wouldn't have access to the article anyway, I just want to be reassured that a copy exists somewhere!

Leicester Library is sadly not much better - as a distance-learning student, I can't very well just go down to the basement to check out the periodicals stacks and see if the 1961 issue is there, can I? It'd be far more reasonable for the library to tell me, online, ahead of time, if they happen to have the complete run before I have to bother some hapless librarian into finding and sending me a photocopy.

Keyboard smash!!!


Amy said...

Okay, take a deep breath, drop your shoulders...and r e l a x. ;)

Yep, things like this can be very frustrating. But think about it this way: The fact you can find very little existing writing in your research area means that you have hit that 'original research' nail directly on the head! Ultimately it can be a very liberating experience. I also found very little information about my subject area when I was starting out on my research: I think the best approach is to look for things that can inspire your research, even if they are somewhat off topic.

Oh, and with no disrespect to the MA, I'd personally give the MJ a miss. At the very least, put it on the backburner and check it the next time you're over in Leicester. :)

J said...

Breathing? What is this "breathing" you speak of? ;-)