I did my library research assignment on Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. I have to admit, in the beginning, I found this to be one of the most challenging and confusing assignments I’ve ever been tasked to do in any of my courses. I felt completely overwhelmed and also had no idea if I was doing it properly or not. When I first did a search on Lady Mary through the library website, it came back with over 1000 hits. I had no idea how I was supposed to sift through all of that information. I think I started and restarted this assignment at least 5 or 6 times before I felt like giving up for good. Fortunately, with the extension from Dr. Jones, and a better understanding of what she expected from us, I was able to figure this out and in the end, it wasn’t so bad after all.
I knew a little bit about Lady Mary from a previous course last term, but before that – I had never heard of her before. I found her to be so interesting…the list of things she was able to accomplish and witness first hand, as a woman in the eighteenth-century is mind boggling. She traveled throughout Europe and documented these travels through her many letters back to family and friends in London. She was able to experience first hand the personal lives of Turkish women; which was something that men had no access to at the time. She was self-taught, ambitious and so determined to be independent in an age where women were expected to sit and look pretty for their husbands.
It was apparent that the UNB holdings carried many of Lady Mary’s collection/letters, but most of these books were ebooks or only available in hard copy at the Fredericton library. I was able to come up with four suggestions for new titles to add to the library’s collection which were available through Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon. It it nice that all of these resources are available to us from Fredericton and as online sources, but it would be even more beneficial if we could walk to the commons, and check out the book when we need it instead of having to wait for it to be delivered from Fredericton.
In the end, this assignment proved to be an eye opening experience. I think I always took for granted documents which were available online, or through document delivery. With this, I realized how it would make research assignments that much easier to do if the resources were available to us here on campus.