Saturday, July 16, 2016

Such a nice thing to say ...

From the comment trail. I can be flattered ...

I am writing a history of my own Witness congregation, and your example of clear and accurate research has made my project much better. For example, you often talk about the importance of using original sources, and writing history that anyone else can verify. It seems so simple, but in several cases, I have found that finding the original sources has led me to modify several key sections of my work, because I was using secondary sources, which were in many cases only partly truthful, and in a few cases were clearly incorrect.

Your example has improved my project immensely. I have had several older members of the congregation react negatively to parts of the project, because what I wrote did not coincide with stories they had been passed on for years. The good news is that in almost every case, when confronted by the undeniable evidence that what I had written was true, they thanked me for clearing the matter up. In one case, another older person who did not believe what I had written is embarking on his own research to try and confirm what he believes to be true. I surprised him by encouraging him to investigate the matter fully. (He expected me to try to dissuade him.)

I want to thank you and your team, not only for your brilliant research, but also for providing me, and anyone else interested in history, an example of how to create accurate and verifiable research. You often say, "Go where the facts lead you," which sounds simple enough. But you practice what you preach, and I am grateful for your good example. And I know of many others who read the blog, but never comment, who would say the same thing.

Andrew Grzadzielewski

No comments: