The first lesson that I came to grasps with while performing my research was to start broad. At the beginning I was a little to focused on specific information and it proved to make my research at the time very time consuming and difficult. When I took a step back and viewed my topic, Battle of Gettysburg and Carlisle’s involvement, in a broader sense I was able to uncover a much better understanding simply through basic research via the internet. This commonly overlooked research may not provide the body of the information that one is looking for but it allowed for myself to develop a solid foundation of knowledge that I could then build upon. Also, by looking at the bibliographies of these sources I was able to springboard myself into new avenues of research thus opening doors to me that I previously would not of seen.
The second lesson I learned was that for myself it was much easier looking up newspaper articles in both local Carlisle newspapers and the New York Times via microfilm rather than through databases. Prior to this project I had never used microfilm and was wary of searching through entire pages to uncover only a handful of useful articles. This skepticism was quickly brushed aside as I could refine my window of searching in much more of a hands on approach rather than plugging in keywords and dates and letting a computer gather my desired information. What resonated with me the most was how all the newspapers were in chronological order, this allowed me to craft a timeline much more efficiently than I had ever been in the past.
Lastly, while research does take time and effort no matter how efficiently one performs it, it can be much more rewarding and “fun” when you allow yourself to explore and uncover information that intregues your interests.