Mrs Pounds and Mrs Pfoundes
A Futuristic Historical Essay in Honour of Professor Ursula King
In this short essay written for Professor Ursula Kingâ€™s Festschrift I reflect on the general problem of researching and recovering events and individuals previously â€˜lostâ€™ to historians of religions, taking as my example recent collaborative research into forgotten early Irish Buddhists. I consider also the problems of researching other traditionally under-represented figures, including many women; for example, the wife (Rosa Alice Hill) and mother (Caroline Pounds) of the Irish Buddhist Charles Pfoundes. In the second and rather more speculative part of the essay I look at some ways in which increasingly sophisticated and increasingly accessible technological developments, allied with growing â€˜crowdâ€™ participation in the provision and analysis of historical data, might in future enable us to discover far more than we currently can about events and individuals in the past.