Friday, 22 January 2010

River Research

I'm trying to find out more about the Colne for my Wild East essay that's due February 1. I spent about an hour yesterday in the library and had little luck. I first searched via the library website for the keywords "Colne" "Tidal Rivers" "England rivers" "Essex Rivers" and so forth, with various combinations of those words and phrases. No real luck. The closest I came is Stories About the Colne, but it's most about Brightlingsea, at the mouth of the Colne, and not much about the rest of it. I found that in the UK History section on Essex, but I didn't find much there. I also went into the biology section to see about animal life of the Colne. I visited the environmental section to see if they had anything on local rivers. Then I went to geography to try and find something about rivers and then just a basic intro to geography book which would hopefully explain how rivers work and types of rivers. Well, I did find one introductory book which a chapter on rivers. Otherwise, it was pretty disappointing. I'm surprised. The Colne is visible from the campus. The Quays, the university housing in which I live, could be flooded by the Colne. Yet, information on it is hard to come by in the campus library. I did a search in Nexis for news stories on the Colne. Apparently there are three river Colnes. One up by Lancashire. One in Oxfordshire and the one in Essex. Also, lots of dead bodies are found in it. So, I feel like I'm standing in a void of information. What does this mean? Well, from skimming through an entire history of Colchester, I gather that the river wasn't really important to the city. Still, I want stories. I want to know what kind of wildlife can be found by the river, what plants grow near it, how it's been altered, the boats, the stories. I want to know! I want to get to know this river better so I can be in conversation with it. I want to know it's history and its secrets.

Next stop: the Colchester main library which is said to have a good section on local stuff.

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