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A Balancing Act (6/17/2022)

This summer began with a research trip delayed from last year (thanks to COVID, of course): I had a grant from my institution (Georgia Southern University) to pursue a different project which competes for my attention with the EJLPP. I've been interested for many years in the consorts of the rulers of Tuscany, and am grateful for the opportunity to travel to archives and libraries in Florence and Mantua to learn more. i was even granted the right to use some of that money in Washington, DC last summer and in Dublin, Ireland this March. I know we're all sick of hearing about COVID pivots, but, well, this is the hand we've been dealt, and as I really wanted to spend that money--I'd worked pretty hard to get it, and there was a lot of it--I pivoted, and I'm glad I did. In Dublin, for example, found a transcript of some Italian archival documents and some secondary sources I had no access to in the US (or, for that matter, in Florence and Mantua).

Of course, while I was in Dublin, I checked out the wonderful libraries. Trinity is, alas, in the midst of a major renovation, but I made the pilgrimage to the Book of Kells, and I squeezed in some time for both the grand duchesses and Jesuit libraries in Marsh's Library. And I'm so pleased to have added that, UCD, and the Teresiana in Mantua to the list of libraries I've researched at, along with two archives in Mantua. In addition, after more than a quarter century, I returned to the Riccardiana, Moreniana, and Marucelliana libraries in Florence--and of course I went to my usual haunts, Archivio di Stato di Firenze and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze.

Travel is rough--especially the actual travel, on planes and trains, especially if you pick the wrong airport to transfer through (I'm looking at you, Dulles and Frankfurt)--but it's also so many wonderful things. I felt something akin to healing upon returning to Italy for the first time since 2019 (and to Ireland for the first time since 1987!). No doubt, some of that is associated with the relief I feel in knowing how easy it is to navigate both places with celiac disease. It's terribly anxiety-producing to me to eat in restaurants here in the US, but I've had only positive experiences in Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Belgium (the four European countries I have visited since my 2015 diagnosis).

And now I'm back in Georgia, and since I'm not teaching this summer, I am trying to balance out my time to ensure that the EJLPP continues strongly. I will be interviewing students for research assistantships in the fall (working on women printers) and have a promise from another student that they are going to sign up for an internship working more directly with the database. In the meantime, I'm still adding lines--today, I passed 6,520--and I'm still wishing that there were more hours in the day and/or that I had more assistants. I will also try to get on a better schedule for blog posts, once i catch up with a few other things!

Thanks, as always, for reading and checking in.