This post is going to be controversial. Historians of a pompous, self important nature should look away now.
Firstly I should declare my interests. I am not a historian, merely someone with an, at times, all consuming literary interest in the Nelson era Royal Navy and a collector of antiquarian books on the same.
I am a fairly recent adopter of Twitter. I have noticed something quite amusing. There is quite a sniffy attitude towards amateur historians occasionally displayed by the PhD brigade. I can live with that, its not my day job. My day job is in industry and my knowledge helps clients to improve productivity, employee numbers and wealth. I dont have a humanities background and I’m too old to care about getting one.
As an amateur historian I’ve travelled all around Europe carrying out my own detailed research for nothing more than pleasure. Research is time consuming but rewarding. Im sure professional historians know this but it surprises me to see some who claim to be historians (and have even managed to blag themselves a TV gig as an “expert”) using social media to pick peoples brains about things.
One, for example, was, a few months ago asking people to tweet something interesting about their home town. Only once I’d dome this did I realise that a large list of interesting facts could be used to formulate another TV series or book.Now I’m not saying that said person had run out of ideas for the next paycheck and decided to get others to provide them, but it seemed so to me.
Then recently another well known author and TV “historian” was asking for some technical details on twitter.
All I’m going to say is this. You’re a professional. Get out the bibliographies, look up the topic, obtain the material and do your own research. Or have you forgotten how to do it?
This amateur historian certainly isn’t going to provide any more material on Twitter so that you can make yourself richer.