Tuesday, June 20, 2006

History Detectives pestering experts since 2006

Caught a new episode of history detectives on PBS early this morning. This is what happens when I can't sleep. I liked this series before but am rather aggravated by its latest incarnation.

Two of the three stories essentially involved tracking down experts and pestering them for knowledge. Not exactly much actually getting into the nuts and bolts of archival research which is what the earlier episodes at least attempted to do.

One aggravating oversight from the last piece which was about the assassination of President McKinley. They were trying to track down information on whether a flag had been draped over the coffin. They had a regimental badge and a sharp shooters award. Inexplicably they made no attempt to either use the gentleman's name to get Army records or to lookup unit history which would have shortened the research needed to determine the same information. Namely that the unit was used as a honor guard at the place of burial prior to internment.

I will look at the next episode, probably because this time next week I won't be sleeping again.

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