James O. Knauss


To write history one must have source material. This is a ridiculous truism, but is sometimes overlooked by would-be writers of history. A man cannot write history by reconstructing the past from his own imagination. Such a process produces fiction, not history. Probably the feature most unattractive to the majority of writers is the gathering of the source material from which history is to be written. This collecting of material often does not fire the imagination, and is considered, I am afraid, by many sheer drudgery. The work of the bibliographer does not appeal to those who desire instant popular acclaim and fame, for bibliography, no matter how essential to the writing of history, never attracts popular attention.