When I first received the task to locate an old book assigned to my name, I was sceptical about how this would be beneficial for my architecture course. I even got more confused when I discovered, that my old friend is about naval architecture. How should the knowledge of building ships and boats be useful? I had to wait until the end of the second term to answer this question.
For the second task I went to Zentralbibliothek Zürich to physically examine the book. If it has not been for the assignment, I would have never ordered a specific book to a library just to go through the pages. I would rather have made it myself easy and search for it on the internet. It surprised me how much information I was able to pick up during this short examination, without even reading the book.
I faced several problems when looking for reprints or other version of the book. Even though some lists of books were provided, it has not supported my search in the way I was expecting. Also the search on the internet has not resulted in a satisfying finding. It would have been great if more helpful material was given to the students.
Furthermore, the scanning of the old text and the conversion into a text file was way more exhausting than advantageous for myself. I have the assumption, it has only been asked for so to create a library of words.
In the end, I have not really learned much about naval architecture, let alone how to construct ships and boats. Perhaps I got some aspects of the topic, but nothing I could work with. Reflecting the entire process, I have rather learned how to deal with an old book and subtract substantial information without actually reading it. The whole exercise pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me discover unknown territory I would have never came upon on my own. It also taught me how to cope with something I so far had absolutely no knowledge about. After this one-year-task, I now know how to track down a book and use its significant data for my benefit. If I really require detailed information, I would go one step further and read into the matter.