Digital Fail

I experienced my own interesting Digital Fail this week – which probably shows more about my own search habits than faults in Digital Library structure.

I’m just finishing up that chapter for Gabby and Simon, which is about interdisciplinarity and the Digital Classicist. So, as well as talking about disciplines, and learning, and interdisciplinarity, at some stage you have to look at the history of classics as a University discipline.

But could I find much about it on my usual online searches, and searches of online catalogues? Turns out that “classics” is “history” in a lot of catalogues. The searches turned up thousands, if not millions of hits. Noise Noise Noise. Impossible to find the gem I needed in the midst of it*

As I said – probably says more about my own scattergun searching techniques, and I’m pushed for time at the moment. So off I go to the actual library, and ask an actual librarian, and she directs me to an actual room, and I comb the actual shelves, and I find an actual book!

How very retro. And I wonder what else I’ve been missing the last few years that I’ve relied more and more heavily on catalogues and online searches…

* The book I was looking for was “Classical Education in Britain 1500-1900, by M. L. Clarke. (CUP) But I didnt know it was called that when searching for it. Has an interesting 2 page chapter on the “new universities”: such as University College London and Kings College London. And how their teaching will never be up to scratch…

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