In 1995, an advisory panel asked a group of grad.uate students in Britain whether it was viable to undertake doctoral research in the field of American Studies given that the majority of the material they would require was likely to be housed three thousand miles away. By its very nature a doctoral dissertation relies heavily on primary source material, exactly the type of material that would appear to be out of the reach of the long distance researcher. How could they hope to carry out the amount of research needed to fulfill the requirements of a Ph.D., with the twin problems of ever increasing travel costs and of limited funding? The slightly indignant students assured the members of the panel that, despite the difficulties, they could manage and that the tasks they had undertaken were most certainly worthwhile.



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