I came a long way for this visit and fortunately it proved completely worth the schlep. (schlep sounds like a German word. Yiddish. So close.) I did inadvertently make use of a German word I forgot I knew when a server at a restaurant sneezed. “Gesundheit” I said. She smiled. (I just learned how to spell Gesundheit…I was way off.)
Anyway, I came to this small Black Forest town for a gathering of European diary archives hosted by the German diary archive which is located in a stately 1728 building known as the Rathaus/old town hall. There’s a small two -room museum with displays of interesting diaries, accompanied by an audio tour in various languages. There were people from diary archives in Germany, France, The Netherlands and Austria and very interesting presentations on how diaries are used by researchers (presenters were historians, a literary nonfiction writer and a musicologist) and on how A.I. coupled with HRT (handwriting recognition transcription) will revolutionize and democratize research. Combined they can be used to do super fast transcription of handwritten manuscripts…including diaries. Right now this is often done manually, so to speak, by very patient and skilled volunteers.
We had an excellent dinner at what I gather is the best place in town, Vielharmonie, where I had very good local fish (char?) and I stayed an odd hotel I wouldn’t recommend because it’s very understaffed. (Taome Feng Shui) although I was greeted by a pleasant former Texan, from Austin.