An Odd Request for an Out-of-Town Research Assistant:

Can you recommend someone who lives in or near

  1. New Haven

  2. Bloomington, Indiana

  3. Brunswick, Maine

  4. Northfield, Minnesota

  5. New York City

  6. Clinton, New York

  7. Cincinnati

  8. Abington, Pennsylvania

  9. Charlottesville

  10. Dublin (yes, in Ireland)

  11. Ceredigion, Wales

  12. or Leeds, England

and would be willing and able to read some volumes of a mid-1700s translation of Livy's history of Rome, and find all references to a particular two-word phrase? We'd pay for the person's time, though at an unprincely rate: The likely range would be $10 to $16 per hour, depending on the person's educational status — that's just the normal UCLA rate, which is calibrated to whether the research assistant is an undergraduate student or a graduate student, though presumably we can fit nonstudents in somewhere there.

The person need not have any knowledge of Roman history, though I suppose interest in Roman history may make the task less tedious. The person does need to have the (not that common) ability to read text and spot every occurrence of the phrase, which will likely be fairly rare in the work (if it occurs at all).

The reason for the request, as you may have guessed, is that (1) no library is willing to interlibrary-loan these 250-year-old books, (2) this edition (unlike many 1600s and 1700s books, including several 1600s translations of Livy) doesn't seem to be online in scanned form anywhere, and (3) this particular edition is especially important for my research. But the bottom line is that we need someone local in one of those places whom we can hire as a long-distance research assistant — and the chief condition is that the person be a careful, attentive, and not easily bored reader.

In any case, if you know someone who answers to this description, and whose reliability you personally know about, I'd love to hear about it. Please e-mail me, at volokh at, if you'd rather not post the person's name and coordinates in the comments. Many thanks!