Having been delving into the history of Milford for over a decade, I have become increasingly conscious of the many fascinating articles that have adorned the pages of the Society’s Occasional Magazine for a century and more. Fascinating, yet at the same time sometimes frustrating because, as more information comes to light, I would wish to know the basis of once securely held opinions and statements of fact. For this reason, I ask for sources to be included in articles so that future generations will be able to challenge our certitudes in an informed way.
Today’s researchers have real advantages over their predecessors. Once dusty archives and reading rooms are now welcoming and helpful. Members of the Society have travelled afar – to the British Library at St Pancras, the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, Keele University, and the National Archives at Kew amongst others. Closer to home are Hampshire Record Office and the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives at Swindon.
Yet the armchair historian need not stray far. The power of the internet offers detailed access to records – for example, newspaper reports and census details and reports – and the location of records through the National Archives Discovery database. Old books, long since forgotten in many instances, are being digitised at a prodigious rate, often yielding perspectives or information of immense value.
With so many sources of information, we can publish Occasional Magazines that continue a century long tradition of comfortable reading with the benefit of being ever more informed. As Editor, I am always available to guide writers towards the maintenance of these key tenets.