08 mei 2020

Harder to Keep Busy

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I have found that sticking to a regular routine and scheduling my day has been helpful for making time pass quickly during this crisis. For me, just keeping busy is the best way to deal with the monotony and long periods of isolation. However, I’m finding that harder and harder to do.

Doing a PhD in the corona-time appears to be an ever increasingly daunting task. Originally, with the school closures I knew that I had ample archival digitized material to go through but after a few weeks I am finding it harder to work around the lack of resources.

Doing a PhD in the corona-time appears to be an ever increasingly daunting task

The archives are closed. I used to visit the Nationaal Archief at the Hague and unfortunately, the specific records I need are those which are not digitized. There were also collections of sailing letters in London that I had hoped to check out this summer but that no longer seems like a possibility. Archival records are the axis in which historical research revolves. I sympathize with the other students whose labs are unavailable.

The libraries, too, are closed. Thankfully, the VU has numerous e-books that have occupied my time. I also just discovered I can borrow books from archive.org which has been a major help. However, it feels like everyday I have less and less resources to draw upon. I know, relatively, this is the best position to be in. There are many people who face diminishing resources in money or quite possibly food. I am thankful that I am not immediately pressed with such concerns… yet.

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