Chance now slim

July 5, 2012

I agree with John Sutherland about physical visits to the archives, visits I have made over the decades - although being a labour historian, not in such romantic venues ("Raiders of the lost archives", 28 June).

Searching the archives often alerted researchers to information that might not otherwise have come to their attention. By contrast, the digital archive will produce in most cases exactly what is asked for by the search term used. This is much less time-consuming than searching physical archives, and less diverting, too, but it also allows (at least in my case) more time to ponder issues of historical methodology.

Keith Flett, London

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