Yesterday marked the sixth birthday of On the archival trail of William Macintosh. As ever, this is an occasion for me to reflect on what I have achieved on the project over the last twelve months and to identify (or, more accurately, face up to) what remains to be done.
Of the tasks I set myself on the occasion of the blog’s fifth birthday, I have been successful in achieving two: I have a more-or-less complete catalogue of Macintosh’s library which, with a fair wind, I’ll get off to The Library: Transactions of the Bibliographical Society of London for consideration before the end of the summer and I have completed a chapter on Macintosh for a forthcoming edited collection, Empire and mobility in the long nineteenth century.
What I have not yet done is to put together a proposal for the book I plan to write. Partly, this is a consequence of the identification last summer of a large trance of archival material that requires further processing and analysis before I can fully map out the overall shape of the book, and partly it reflects my decision to invest my time in writing another (unsuccessful) grant application.
Early this summer I will be returning to the archive in Avignon for what may be the last time. My plan is to complete my photographic record of the material held at the Archives départementales de Vaucluse and to chase up a final few references in the Bibliothèque Ceccano. Once I have had the opportunity to process that material, I should be in a better position to begin work on the book proposal. Ever the glutton for punishment, I also aim to submit another grant application in the hope that I can secure some dedicated time for writing the book itself.