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Friday, 25 May 2012


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This might be my favorite blog post so far. Keep up the good work!


I worked as an archivist at the Sedgwick Museum of earth sciences in Cambridge for a while, so I got to go through some notebooks by some really famous geologists, like J. E. Marr and Thomas McKenny Hughes. So I was really excited and was hoping to see hints on how to take good notes and see their thought process; after all, Marr literally worked out most of the geology of the lake district, some of the most complicated in the British isles. Needless to say, I was really disappointed in them! They were just pages and pages of barely legible pencil scrawl, with the occasional barebones sketch. They committed all three cardinal sins of geological note taking, namely forgetting the name, scale and orientation of a lot of the sketches and data. Instead, they treated it much more of a diary, talking about the evening in the pub the previous night and the weather and so on. In a way though, I can see how it worked, acting more as a stream of consciousness and helping to organise their thoughts.

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Field Book Project Website

The Field Book Project is a joint initiative of the Smithsonian Institution Archives and National Museum of Natural History with the goal of creating a Field Book Registry, one online location for field book content.
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