After visiting a couple of times, I think I put my finger on exactly why I like Edinburgh so much. It is Seattle with older buildings and a much longer history. The outdoorsy, free-spirit, friendly nature of both cities make them a delight to visit.
The Archives Départementales de la Gironde was less intimidating that I first thought it would be for my first time to a foreign archive. The registration process was fairly painless, a bit awkward as my spoken french is very choppy, and the people at the desk spoke little English. I was a little afraid they would snatch the application back and tell me to come back when I could speak their language better. However, that did not come to pass. I shyly emphasized that I could read french far better than I could speak it. The woman at the desk politely smiled in return. After storing my bag, I took the bare essentials, my camera, my computer, a notebook and a pencil, into the reading room. Far smaller than I expected, but then my only experience with archives are either the one’s in the Founder’s Library or the Newberry Library. I received my seat assignment and then figured out where to order documents. I had a list already developed from prior searches on the website. However, my documents took a while to retrieve and because they do not deliver documents between noon and one, I sat for two and half hours waiting. Good thing I brought a book.