Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Queen City Shipwreck- Hunt-Trying to Take Better Notes

When looking for shipwrecks, or any other types of research, we must do our research. Sometimes that information can come from historical documents and historical societies while other times you may need to contact other entities that may have the initial documents (i.e. ports and companies).  One thing I learned on our first shipwreck search dive is to document experiences better and continually look for deeper sources of information. 

Shipwreck hunting and discovery is an important part of science but often lacks fully developed methods because it relies heavily on intuition (Harpster, 2013). I guess that is part of my responsibility. While I'm not a great diver I do have skills in formalizing some of these process. Since this exploration is partially fun I'm not going "overkill" the work with detail but hope to semi-formalize some of the processes and start keeping a little documentation. 

That reminds me that I should get a separate notebook for just logs. Yikes!

I'm making videos tho show some of things were doing but I should start keeping regular logs to ensure I'm capturing the information correctly. Such a project isn't going to be based solely on our notes as it is in other fields of study. The output is what counts. One would still need enough notes to show what they did. 

If we receive funding through sponsorship or purchasing of advertisement space on some videos we are producing we will need to keep better notes on expenditures in case anyone asks. We are not dealing with a lot of money here. More like a pittance to augment our expenditures but we should keep itemization records.  

Also, if something goes wrong the notes might help us reveal what we did. This post helped me think about how I should better document in log form my current notes before my memory of the day fades. Documenting the experiences is an important part of being professional and may be a defining difference between valid and invalid research. 

There has been a little interest of our study from two historical societies that provided information and from an enthusiast who sent me a data sheet. You can get some great information about the site HERE

It provides a lot of interesting information on the site. Researchers love to see these types of boring data sheets because they are rich. However, you can't trust what is on the site without going to the source. The whole point of "research" is to dig deeper. We should seek to go back to the source. 

So I might start this way.....

1. Browse and search various sources for any general information on the topic. Look for credible sources because a lot of stuff on the internet is reposted and rehashed and isn't necessarily accurate or reflective of the original data. 

2. When you find some credible sources/sites seek to find out their data source. Books, documents, historical societies, etc... are good places to investigate. For example, if 'Pringle" is the builder we might go back and see if that company exists, where they have records, and if another company bought them out. 

Just looking at this site I would want to know more about its final cargo and location. 

Harpster, Matthew. (2013). Shipwreck Identity, Methodology, and Nautical Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. 20. 10.1007/s10816-012-9131-x.


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