I think historians are, by nature, a nosey lot. Most of the people historians study are dead, which makes our research less invasive than regular snooping, but it is still snooping. We love to find letters, journals… anything that allows us to get inside someone’s head and gives us a fuller picture of their experience.
And I think good students of history have to be nosey. The “what” of history can be interesting, but at a certain point, we need the “why” to really understand history’s many lessons–and people give us that.
The website overheardinnewyork.com is a voyeur’s, eh hem, I mean historian’s, dream–simply postings of conversations overheard by folks who were entertained and felt compelled to share.
Many of the postings aren’t pretty. People can be scary, sweet, stupid, very crude, and quite often, pretty darn funny. It also provides a fascinating glimpse into us and offers a preview of what historians will learn about this era, if they’re lucky.
Warning: many postings are NOT suitable for minors or those who are easily offended. Everyone else, enjoy…
please note that there are links to “overheard in the office”, etc. at the bottom of the “overheard” page which are also worth a read.