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    So I was sat in our Archive Centre at my university today and I came across a note written by William Gladstone in 1886. Basically, my favourite prime minister, and you are unlikely to come into contact with any physical documents written by him other than behind a glass cabinet. The archivist must have thought I was mental because I got excited and couldn't stop smiling.

    I realised that what I love about history isn't just the debate, but the opportunity to come into contact with documents and artefacts written or created by people who did so much to shape the world we live in today. I find that profoundly exciting.

    But that's just me, how about you?
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    History is exciting because it is abound with good ideas which may have been overlooked or forgotten, but which we can apply to our lives today.

    Human beings have always been prone to conceit and self-destructive habits, but in an era of individualistic, consumer societies and the 24-hour news cycle (I'm not necessarily saying these things are bad), many of us feel the strain of deep social anxiety.

    The study of History (I guess I'm including Philosophy and Literature, too) gives us to opportunity to take a step back and re-evaluate our situation; the ideas we discover allow us to ask: how can I achieve genuine fulfillment in my life and become the best person I could possibly be.
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    (Original post by thehistorybore)
    So I was sat in our Archive Centre at my university today and I came across a note written by William Gladstone in 1886. Basically, my favourite prime minister, and you are unlikely to come into contact with any physical documents written by him other than behind a glass cabinet. The archivist must have thought I was mental because I got excited and couldn't stop smiling.

    I realised that what I love about history isn't just the debate, but the opportunity to come into contact with documents and artefacts written or created by people who did so much to shape the world we live in today. I find that profoundly exciting.

    But that's just me, how about you?
    I volunteer in my uni archive and I love it. Jealous you got to see Gladstone writing.
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    (Original post by Airmed)
    I volunteer in my uni archive and I love it. Jealous you got to see Gladstone writing.
    Completely out of nowhere, I was so shocked.
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    (Original post by thehistorybore)
    Completely out of nowhere, I was so shocked.
    How does Warwick have it? I would have thought the National Archives would have all Gladstone stuff.
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    (Original post by Airmed)
    How does Warwick have it? I would have thought the National Archives would have all Gladstone stuff.
    It was in a file about Ben Tillet, I imagine the NA does as well.
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    (Original post by thehistorybore)
    It was in a file about Ben Tillet, I imagine the NA does as well.
    Ah, that makes sense. :yep:
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    Dragons.

    That aside, Great Man is all very well and good (I have always enjoyed a good biography), but I think much of the excitement for me stems from small insights into people's personal lives as I find they allow me to temporally orient myself by empathising with some shared experience. For example I love inscriptions left in books, or to accompany gifts; I imagine these being written by people substantially not unlike myself but separated by some number of years. They probably loved and were loved, had hopes, dreams and aspirations, talked with people they knew, about what the world might one day be, cried, laughed and ultimately died as we all must. Fingerprints on old pottery, carvings on cave walls or systems of accounting for wheat stores written in many thousand year old cuneiform. These things remind me that people have always been people and the history of the great men does not always tell the story that I'm interested in hearing. Perhaps I stray a little into the realm of social anthropology at this point, but in essence it is the everyday actions, attitudes, values and decisions that I find exciting.
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    (Original post by thehistorybore)
    So I was sat in our Archive Centre at my university today and I came across a note written by William Gladstone in 1886. Basically, my favourite prime minister, and you are unlikely to come into contact with any physical documents written by him other than behind a glass cabinet. The archivist must have thought I was mental because I got excited and couldn't stop smiling.

    I realised that what I love about history isn't just the debate, but the opportunity to come into contact with documents and artefacts written or created by people who did so much to shape the world we live in today. I find that profoundly exciting.

    But that's just me, how about you?
    Indeed. When I am reading a writing about great personalities from history who made a contribute in changing and/or shaping our living societies, it is like a travel back to the past. It is exciting in a way, as in good or as in bad. You get a closer view in the thoughts of the personalities, you get a better understanding why they were fighting for something and how difficult it had to be at that time. This believe in their convictions, this unstoppable will. Nice!

    as if everything around you is awaken to life, as if you are a part of a changing moment in history at once. No matter whether it changed to better or worse: it is always thrilling.
 
 
 
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