- Fin the Curmudgeon, ;-)
Your idea of the possible self desception of
seeing/measuring/photographing the item in person is VERY thought
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, tom@h... wrote:
> I would have agreed with you until I went to the V&A, the Mary
Rose, etc. and saw the actual artifacts that I had been studying in
photographs for years; they seriously changed my impression of them.
The major difference was the sense or scale and proportion. Even with
a scale in the photograph or notes that list dimensions, you just
don't get the sense of scale that you do from seeing the real thing.
I also noticed a LOT more in tool marks and surface texture than I
ever discerned from photographs.
> However, in general I dislike the idea that primary sources are
inherently better to use than secondary (and even tertiary) ones, and
should inherently be weighted more. For example, let's say I go to
the museum and see a cool chair. I measure it, photograph it, then go
home and reproduce it in exact dimensions. Then I pick up one of
those nasty ol' secondary sources and find out that the "original" is
missing four inches of its original height, had the arms
> replaced, and was originally painted red. In this case, the primary
source may mislead me (unless my intent was to reproduce it as a 400-
year-old antique), and I'd be foolish to ignore the commentary of
people who have spent their lives studying these things. In my
opinion, if we're scoring sources (and of course, I don't like
competitions), I think we should reward someone for integrating the
best information available, whatever its source.
> Ever the curmudgeon,
> (Tom R.)
> This message was sent from webmail.his.com.