So, it’s a bit silly giving a few items to a person to go find online. We have this wonderful device called Google, or Bing if you’re being all hipster. Search engines, though not infallible, will find what it is you need to look for in no time. You may have to tweak the way you phrase it a little to help narrow down or broaden the field, depending on how well you know what it is you’re looking for. Some searches will be easier to find than others, but overall these lovely things make life so much easier. But that’s it, easier. It doesn’t make you any less smart; because, who is really going to have all sorts of information in their mind all the time? And not everyone can easily travel to wherever to look at the document for a labor dispute from 1970. You could call, yes, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find the documents you’re looking for. Actually, sometimes the reply you get is that it is up on the internet, go Google it, this is not the archive you are looking for (feel free to add in that Jedi hand wave if you so wish, I did). Of course being in a class where all the students are writing a blog about this same subject too makes life interesting, as their blogs show up in the Google search too. It’s a bit silly, but such is how the Google is. Those that rise with the Google fall by the Google! Eh, I don’t think that phrase will catch on, but worth a shot. It is nice to finally be able to not have to spend way more hours than you really every wanted to in an archive. An archive which is in the basement of some town building, lit only by torch light, and has a bunch of skeletons from ages past lying over books and tomes. Alright, so I’ve never seen an archive quite like the one I described, but still they can feel that way.
Oh, and for the record here’s what we had to find, and what I found for each.
1) An op-ed on a labor dispute involving public school teachers from before 1970
2) The first documented use of solar power in the United States (Did use Wikipedia for a link to this page, it’s the last 1904 entry)
3) The best resource for the history of California ballot initiatives, including voting data (this was the top link in the Google search)