Here is an interesting article from John Hennessy discussing the usefulness of the internet for research and its limitations. He makes the point that while we have an unprecedented amount of research material available to us at our fingertips, how really valuable is that for original research? Much is available, but because it isn’t currently cost effective to digitize the majority of archives, a serious student still has to travel to the archives and to spend the time amongst the dusty tomes. Absolutely. More and more is available to us each day, but it’s available to us because someone saw a value in digitizing those sources. In many cases the value is monetary. I find a lot to agree with in the article, but I also found myself saying, “Yeah, and so what’s your point?” In other words, I think he’s done an eloquent job of stating the obvious. If you’re going to only research on the internet, you’re not going to get a good, full picture. And, in fact, it’s entirely possible you could get a very inaccurate picture.
I think we know this, no? What do you think?