An eventful first overseas research trip for the project…

I have been in the United Kingdom (UK) for the past week carrying out primary research for my research project, my first overseas trip for it. However, it has certainly been an eventful one…Before leaving Hong Kong I was anxious about whether my new flight (my previous one earlier in the day had been cancelled) to London, UK would be leaving due to the drastic reduction in people flying due to the now Coronavirus pandemic. My flight thankfully did leave, but it was the emptiest flight that I have ever been on…

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I jumped into my research here in London soon after arriving as I am only here for a limited time. I visited the National Archives of the UK and the British Library and found some great material.

Here is a photograph of an interesting thing that I came across: a British Indian Passport during the British Raj.

I have really enjoyed carrying out primary research after several years and especially appreciated being back in the National Archives and British Library after a very long time (for my postdoctoral team research project on ‘Australia in War and Peace, 1914-1919’ at King’s College London in 2012-14). However, my second week here in London is looking uncertain as the Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic and the UK government is escalating its response to deal with the crisis. My concern is that public places like archives and libraries might be closed to help stop the spread of the virus. Of course people’s health must come first, but for a researcher who has only a limited time here it would be unfortunate…I hope everyone stays healthy.

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