Teetering on the Brink …
I was sitting checking hyperlinks today – not the most riveting of activities, I must admit – when it dawned on me that my next research day is the last scheduled day that I’ll be working on the Bass Culture project that has occupied me for the past three years. (Every week, I’ve been working three days as a librarian and two as a postdoctoral researcher.) When I go to the research room on Tuesday, it will be to finish checking links for the database that will become a searchable website. Even though I’m sitting at a desk in my own institution, I’ve been part of a small research team for the length of the project.
But when I go to the research room on Wednesday, it will be to start setting things in train for the new project, investigating the historic Copyright Music Collection held at the University of St Andrews. The days I’ll be at my research desk won’t change, but there won’t be a team – just me. And while I’m getting stuck into the new project, I’ll also be thinking about how I can extend it, both in terms of scope, and the practicalities of making it happen.
Whilst I’ll still be in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries – my natural habitat, it seems! – my focus will change, too. On Tuesday, I’ll be dealing with Scottish fiddle tunes that would have been performed by Scottish (and sometimes English) fiddlers for dancing, or keyboard players just for pleasure. On Wednesday, I’ll be starting to contemplate predominantly English publications imported to Scotland under copyright legislation. Indeed, when the University authorities went through their legal deposit acquisitions, I’ll wager they were rather stymied as to what to do with this musical stuff. Hardly the stuff for philosophers, theologians or mathematicians!
So my research topic is still in Scotland, but in a rather different context!
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PS Exchange Talk at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland at 6 pm, 12th October.