Technical archive geekery ahead. You have been warned.
#1: I found the urban privilege I have been looking for off and on for over half a year. It's kind of the key to the paper I've been working on, and I'd started to believe that the informants in my document were just making it up (they do that sometimes) to bully the other cities around them (they do that a lot). But it exists, and in a minor book of privileges that seems to be little known except among real specialists; it's been completely overshadowed by its more important sibling book of privileges.
#2: The person whose reference I used to track back to this privilege (thank you!) has the date just a bit off, and doesn't seem to have looked at the whole document. It's not that they got the interpretation of the part they looked at wrong, but...
#3: ...the whole document is ever so much more interesting than I could have hoped for. I was expecting a terse paragraph saying "city X gets to do this crazy-ass thing." What I got was five full pages, in which this privilege was nested within a narrative about how city X did this crazy-ass thing, then city Y (which was harmed by this action) retaliates against city X, at which point the king explains the privilege to city Y and orders them to make city X whole again and furthermore to publicize among their officials the fact that city X gets to do this crazy-ass thing that looks like flat-out theft but in fact is totes legal, and then city Y just plain ignores the king's order and goes on retaliating... and that's just the first page and a half.
Ooooh! What a dreamy privilege! It's always lovely when the documents turn out to be so much better than hoped-for! Congrats!
Next time I teach our methods course, I'm going to assign this post! You have me swooning with the thrill of archival research!
Freaky weird archival discoveries FTW!
It's when I read posts like this that I have this nagging desire that I'd studied something other than Animal Science in college. Way cool.
Having just returned from a stint of rather productive archival research, I know the excitement of which you speak!
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