I explained to them that to find old articles in the New York Times, I had to go to the library and find the big, white indices. Then I had to page through the books to find the key terms and write down the dates of the articles. Then I had to go to a file cabinet and pull out the rolls of film. Then I had to thread the film into big machines and fast forward to the correct date. The fast forward always made a very loud, satisfying sound. When you got to the correct date, then you inserted a dime, pressed a button and a dark copy of the page would pop out. Finding one article could take 20 minutes.
To get copies of newspapers from Northern Ireland, I had to take a bus into the city and go to a particular news stand.
To get info on the local politicians, I went to the Irish consulate. I also wrote directly to key people, pretended to be a doctoral student, and asked several questions. Many actually wrote back to me. I think I have a letter from Ian Paisley somewhere in the attic.
The students were horrified.