So let’s start from there. I know that a lot of lucky folks get year-long fellowships to pursue dissertation research in foreign archives. Not me, sad to say.** Instead, I had the following:
- One six-week trip right after my comps, in which I spent a month polishing up my main research language in-country, and then two weeks (after I had gathered my nerve) to poke around in what would be my main research archive, just to get the lay of the land and determine if my project was feasible.
- One three-month trip the next fall – this was my main research trip, and my longest stay to date: 88 days. [As you may guess, I didn’t get to do a lot of sightseeing.]
- Two mop-up trips over the next couple of years, three and two weeks long, respectively.
- And then: presto! Dissertation! (okay, well maybe not quite so simple, but you get it).
Total archive time logged in pursuit of the dissertation/first book: 25 weeks, spread out over the course of 7 years
So, I’ve found myself idly wondering how much archive time I’d be logging for this book. Maybe less, because I know what I’m doing, and know the collections a bit better? Maybe more, because I’m forging into new archives? Hard to say. But here’s the tally so far:
- 1-month reconassiance trip
- 3-month major trip (in progress)
**I was a finalist for that One Big Fellowship that grad students apply for, but missed the final cut.