Just finished reading Alex Danchev’s very interesting Georges Braque: A Life. Among other things, I was struck by just how much archival work he did. Here’s his comment from the acknowledgements on research and French archives:
Researching is adventuring into the unknown. Blandine Chambost has been my skirmisher, interpreter, and conductor into the strange ways of French archives (‘What proof do you have, monsieur, that we hold these papers?’) and the Byzantine workings of the Bibliothèque Nationale, ‘which in both its entire layout and its near-ludicrous internal regulation seeks to exclude the reader as a potential enemy’, as the late W.G. Sebald so aptly remarked (p. 412).