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57964Re: [Authentic_SCA] Re: wriggle room

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  • JL Badgley
    Jul 7, 2009
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      On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 8:39 AM,
      neeveofredriver<neeveofredriver@...> wrote:
      >
      > So, good Gentles, what say you? How do each of you go about determining the
      > document-ablity of your own persona, garb, artifacts and all?
      >
      Lots and lots of reading. And museum-going. And image viewing.

      I start with trying to get a picture of the timeframe I'm going for,
      and study in order to better understand what it should look like.

      After that, I look primarily for evidence of things during that
      timeframe, though I may also look earlier.

      I generally avoid looking later unless there is a source that is
      describing earlier information, or something that shows a trend.

      For example, if I find fabric X with pattern Y before my timeframe
      (but not during), but can also see that it has survived to after my
      timeframe, then I can use the two points to make a reasonable
      assumption that the pattern continued to exist in the timeframe I'm
      interested in, barring information that would contradict this (such as
      a sumptuary law specifically prohibiting it). Likewise, if I see X
      garment, but the only construction information is post the period in
      question, I won't hesitate to use the later information to make the
      earlier garment.

      For food I often look at post-cutoff sources, but I analyze them
      critically based on earlier evidence. If you find a 1640 recipe for a
      food that is mentioned (but not otherwise described) in 1590, then
      would it not be reasonable to assume that they are the same, barring
      contrary evidence?

      So I guess what all this means is that I believe post-cutoff sources
      can be used, provided you've first done your homework regarding your
      primary time period to be able to understand whether something is
      plausible. You cannot just arbitrarily make that decision, though,
      and you can in no wise determine that X number of years after a
      particular date means it is appropriate. A 1601 painting could be
      showing clothing that just came into fashion the summer of 1601, for
      all you know, unless you've done your research.


      -E. Godric Logan
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