Here at the library we don’t just do letters, but numbers as well. When a request came in to view a thesis entitled ‘Robert Beale and the Elizabethan polity’ by Mark Taviner, from a Mr Beale located somewhere in Cornwall, we quickly put two and two together to realise that this was probably somebody researching their ancestry. Following on from the BBC’s request last month, this is another great example of the diverse requests we have to view St Andrews theses. Thanks to the strong Open Access policy to which the university is committed, St Andrews research is given fantastic visibility and impact, and so Dr Taviner’s thesis is now helping to unlock family mysteries at the other end of the country.
Dr Taviner’s thesis is available in the Research@StAndrews:FullText archive here: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/3709, and let this serve as a reminder for my fellow historians – be careful what you write in your essays, because if you end up insulting somebody’s great?-grandmother, they might find out about it!
Heather Curtis (Guest blogger & intern)