Ryan Griffith | Indianapolis Theological Seminary
Although library archives are most often the domain of historians and other students of the humanities, research interests will take seminary faculty into the archives from time to time. Even biblical scholarship can unexpectedly require archival research—whether to investigate a rare manuscript or to access a theologian’s unpublished correspondence. Whatever the occasion, digging around in university archives can be an inspiring experience. If you don’t plan well, however, it will be inefficient and frustrating—particularly if you are traveling to a university far away from home.
A measure of advance planning will make a research trip more enjoyable and productive—and potentially save you or your students from having to make a costly trip to a distant archive more than once. Unfortunately, graduate-level research courses sometimes neglect practical guidance on archival research. If you teach and supervise graduate (especially doctoral) students, consider including a guide to archival research as part of your regular instruction.1
Here are some tips for getting the most out of a research trip.[Read more…]