An old friend, how sadly gone and become a treasured memory, had been the archivist of what a former mayor of our town called “a local newspaper”. She was the go-to person for obtuse questions of local history. I tended to think the archive she managed consisted largely of clippings, filed in some arcane way, cross-referenced, and searchable in a variety of contexts.
Lately, on eBay, I’ve noticed sellers who seem to have acquired files of newspaper photographs. This makes perfect sense as professional photographs make the transition from film-based to digital records and it opens a new source of images for my long-term projects. And so, I spent an hour today searching among those images and choosing a few that can be easily adapted to the Agincourt narrative. The category “Disasters” came immediately to mind.
How much photoshopping do think would be required to adapt this image to the Agincourt story? The question, I suppose, it what sort of narrative would fit? Disasters are more common than we might hope. But they beg several questions — of cause and effect; loss of life and property; determination of fault. This interurban accident could have been responsible for a single headline in the evening edition of The Plantagenet. But it could just as reasonably have evolved through investigative journalism — not all of which involves the raking of muck.
At this point, I’ll just say the wheels are turning.