Three years blogging about legal history

Today the makers of the blogging program I use sent me a notification to congratulate me on the third anniversary of my blog. In the midst of all turmoil of this month I would have easily forgotten to give this a thought. However, it gives me a chance to reflect briefly about these three years. I feel so much enriched by discovering so many subjects in and approaches to legal history.

The eendenkooi at Breukeleveen

The duck ducoy of Breukeleveen

Even more important is my sheer joy and experience to write postings which are not a kind of miniature articles for a learned journal, and often not just popularized versions of existing materials. My readers have encountered me not just as a legal historian dealing with historical problems and cases, chasing archival records, looking at old books and deciphering medieval charters. The walking historian has become a familiar figure just as much as the armchair historian in front of the computer screen bringing you to websites from all corners of the world. For me, too, the number and quality of websites and online projects touching legal history is often astonishing. In my view there is a real need to include links to them, and not see them as secondary resources. One of my readers almost complained that one of my postings amounted to a very substantial article ready for a scientific journal. Thanks to his sound advice I have indeed tried to scale down the size of my postings.

Blogging has helped me to venture outside the realms of medieval legal history into territories which used to be quite unfamiliar for me. Writing postings has helped me to develop skills in communicating the importance and interest of subjects. Not only the way you discuss problems in a way consistent with scholarly standards, but also the way to address a potential public in order to make visits to my blog worthwhile, inspire me every time to take the plunge into new subject matters or to convey my enthusiasm when I revisit familiar stamping grounds.

As for scientific standards, postings on my blog offer a view into my study or into the scholarly kitchen. Some postings have merely presented little objects on my working bench, others have given a new view about subjects with which I live already for many years. At least one of my readers has often stirred me to look again at such matters, or he guided me to a new subject. The only consequence has been a delay for some subjects I had scheduled to write about, but you will eventually encounter them here! The interactivity with my steadily growing public helps me to create a better blog. Thank you for your incisive comments, constructive remarks and kind messages by post and in many emails! I will be happy to learn much more from you, and from the experience in writing about all kind of subjects which have a history connected with law or legal dimensions connected with history.


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