Document Type

Autobiographical Writing

Publication Date

9-5-1995

Abstract

Everything that follows must be understood in light of three major facets of my experience, training, and assumptions. Without this background, at least some of this article will be less (if not in-) comprehensible, so bear with me.

First, I'm trained as an historian, have taught history for 25 years (still do occasionally), research some, and publish when I can. I try to keep my hand in as an academician, for I identify myself as a member of the academy. My formal training ended as historians were beginning to use machines to engage in cliometrics—the statistical study of history—and none of my professors were so inclined. The closest to that designation was a British historian who used Hollerith cards in taking notes and sorted them with a card-sorter. My long-term interest in collective biography has fueled interest in databases and machine-readable files and their potential for and use in research. All of this pre-dates my conversion of over a decade ago from classroom teacher to library Director and subsequent training in librarianship.

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