Everyone in a quest for data in humanities collections (archivists, librarians, historians, digital humanists) is on a journey that resembles an odyssey.
It is a journey that entails a maturation process through:
- A multi-year struggle to arrive home
- Encountering various omens along the road
- Vanquishing monsters and creatures
- Often losing sight of your destination, lured by temptations
- Being shipwrecked and having to find again your route multiple times
- Depending on your friends, colleagues and partners in the road to keep you well and safe—focused on the destination oblivious to Sirens
- Finally, arriving home to somewhere that you might not recognize anymore as being the one you left behind, or the one you imagined about.
The blog page of my website serves as a diary of my very personal odyssey in a quest for data.
The title of this first, introductory blog post is adapted from the subtitle of the book Robinson Crusoe. Like the book, this blog documents thoughts, emotions, and adventures as I embark in a new chapter in my professional life in the faraway island of Barbados in the West Indies.
The title of the blog reflects also the three main (conjunctures) that had to happen—I recognize this is rather fatalistic, but, dear reader, please bear with me—in order for me to be here and now:
a)the shipwreck (a rather personal part of my journey),
b) my encounter with “strange surprising humanities data in the middle of the ocean” (my work with the records of a fascinating Sephardic past),
c) my account of how I was at last “strangely deliver’d by pyrates”: this is an allegory for my finding redemption through “pirates” (all the new friends and colleagues I have encountered here and who have embraced me).
This blog will serve as a platform to share current work, but also thoughts, aspirations, and plans for the future.