On this first day of CURI research, I’m . . . in London. In my defense, I’m here to present a paper on the 1924 Soirées de Paris season, which means I’m thinking about (and soliciting feedback on) the topic of our summer-long project. I’m also doing some archival research while I’m here, focusing on British newspapers and music journals that reported on Parisian musical life in 1924. The first thing I did today after checking into my hotel was to head over to the British Library, secure my reader’s card, and scope out the place – all so I could take full advantage of the free day I have tomorrow.

Even during my “off-duty” time, the project stayed on my mind. I met a French friend for dinner and was telling him about the mapping project, and he suggested we stop by some antiquarian shops to see if they had any maps of Paris from 1924. They didn’t, but our seemingly fruitless search nevertheless bore a valuable outcome. Looking at maps without dates, we realized we needed some kind of system to differentiate between maps produced in, say, 1918, 1924, 1930, etc. We honed in on the Paris Metro, since it experienced regular changes during the 1920s. Ultimately we settled on two particular test cases: maps produced after 1920 should show a metro stop on the Ligne 1 named “George V” rather than “Alma.” And maps produced before 1925 should have a stop on the Ligne 9 named “Caumartin” rather than “Havre Caumartin.” Good to know!

I’ll start the day tomorrow by working with a librarian to determine what materials (especially manuscript letters and other unpublished documents) I can access, then I’ll pick up the volume of 1924 issues of The Chesterian that’s waiting for me in Humanities Reading Room 1. Wish me luck!