Say I come across a paper e.g. from 1980, which refers to a dataset which I believe could have further interesting information that was not analysed (or at least the analysis was never published). This was long before the time when datasets might be included as supplementary information. The sole author has not published recently (10 years +) and I can’t find any reference to them at the listed institution or indeed anywhere else. They are likely retired, quite possibly passed away by now.
Given that the author is no longer contactable, is there any way of getting hold of that old dataset? My instinct is that the answer is “no”, but is there any hope? How could I go about it?