The thrill of the chase

For me, the joy of researching is at its strongest when I am chasing hard for some piece of information that I know is out there, but neither I nor the client have located.

The challenge is to gather together as many clues as possible, then to connect them together in a logical way that suggests where to search for the next clue.

As the trail of clues grows stronger, the chase intensifies until … at last! … there it is – the target of the search.

Of course it doesn't always work out that well. Sometimes the desired information isn't out there. Perhaps the only place it still exists is locked away in someone's memory. Sometimes the answer is out there, but I fail to find it. Perhaps a false clue has thrown me off the scent, or perhaps I just haven't looked long enough and hard enough.

Sometimes I've worked for a long time towards one specific research goal, and all the leads seem to be turning into dead ends. Before I give up, I check out just one last possibility – and there the answer is, staring me in the face! That's a buzz!

One Response to “The thrill of the chase”

  1. pafalafaga says:

    A client of mine once asked me to find a fairly obscure WWII war crimes trial of a Japanese general named Harada who had petitioned the British parliment asking that his life be spared.

    I searched the Dickens out of that one, but kept coming up empty. Finally, I dropped the [ UK OR England OR Britain ] from my search and lo and behold….the trial actually had taken place in Australia, not the UK! The entire docket for General Harada’s trial had been digitized and was available online at the Australian National Archives.

    It was a great and satisfying find, but I almost missed it by focusing so hard on the England angle.

    By the way…nice looking blog you have here. Looking forward to seeing what develops.

    paf