I think we have enough to finish volume two and tell a creditable story. About half of it is finished already.
I’ve thought about what we need to proceed. We need some relief from research issues. The “rub” there is that research is at the heart of accurate, well-told history. We will need to rely on willing helpers who can find and organize documentation. If we move on to book three, this will be especially vital.
Book three enters into really controversial events. Some of them have been overlooked. We have no plans to overlook them. Events such as the Russells marital problems are coated with myth and misunderstanding. We are interested in telling the story as accurately as possible. There were personality conflict issues between Russell and some of the most prominent workers. This takes on into murky waters. Some of our readers want to protect Russell at all costs. We won’t do that, though we will be “fair” to all parties. Most of this is un-researched and we expect a difficult time following the trail.
We will need help with it. To be truly helpful you will have to approach issues in the same spirit we do. We follow the trail no matter where it goes.
There are several collections of letters and personal papers. Almost without exception they are closed to researchers. We need help contacting the owners and prying things out of their hands. An example is a large lot of Bible Student era letters sold a few years ago through e-bay. We would like to see those. We can’t pay for photocopying or scanning. We don’t know who owns them.
Pursuing the next era in
history will be time
consuming and difficult. We can’t do it alone. We’ve received some significant
help with the current project, but most of the research is our own. If we move
on to project three, we will need even more help. Watch
I’m more interested in the transitional era, the era between 1916 and 1919. I’d rather skip book three and move right on to that. I’m certain that won’t happen. But you can help us gather material. This is more difficult than you can imagine. We will need access to material in the
and Canadian and US
archives. Usually this requires travel. In the UK , the National Archives has proved very
reluctant to answer requests for relevant material. When someone else requested
documents from them in the early 1990s, they came inked out to almost solid
black. This should be less of an issue now because of time limitations on
secrets expiring. But we would need a volunteer (unpaid) to visit the archive
in Washington D. C. and in United
and in the Canada
to dig for papers, photocopy or photograph them at their own expense and get
them to us. Is this worth the bother to anyone? We have our doubts. UK
We think there are World War I era documents in
archives too. We haven’t a clue how to find them. I don’t read German well. We’d
need a copy of the original and a translation. Finding someone to do this as a
labor of love seems unattainable. Germany
Even with the small amount we know of these two eras, I can tell you that what you’ve been told is largely wrong by omission, sometimes wrong in factual presentation or point of view. The detailed story is always more interesting.
Even if we decide to proceed (I can’t see Mr. Schulz not doing so, even if he’s unwell.) we will need significantly more help than we’ve had with this project. And with this project we’ve had three really dedicated researchers adding to our work and a fair number who just send an occasional item or move us forward by a well asked question. We will need someone willing to contact libraries and other institutions for us. They’ll have to be a good negotiator with a more pleasant personality than my own. (I’m sickish and cranky at the moment.)
Organization is an increasing problem. I don’t know how to improve our archival organization. I’m reorganizing our archival notebooks to account for current needs. I really need a secretary.
We continue to find things. The latest is a letter from A. D. Jones’ father written in September1892. All of it but one sentence is irrelevant to our story. But it’s good to have the one sentence. It explains something his son did. So the issue is, can we enlist more help and can we streamline our research?