Archivists Rock!

village voice logoThe Village Voice features an article about the “archives division of the New York Public Library”  Archives house collections that nobody else has.  This is Ground Zero for research.  A few collection been digitized, like  many of the papers of Dr. Theodore Suess Geisel at the Geisel Library of the University of California, San Diego.  However, most are only available at whichever archive keeps them.

The New York Public Library has a very rich trove of treasures in its archives.  What treasures does your public or academic library hold?  Join in the conversation and share the treasures/collections of your favorite archives.  Two of my current favorites are Archives II in College Park, MD where I am copying deck logs of the USS Midway (CV-41) for the Midway Museum’s Library and the Special Collections at the National Defense University in Washington, DC.  NDU has the collections of many of the  Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was instrumental in getting a replica of the courtroom where the Lincoln Conspirators were tried built in the same building space where the trial took place.  (NDU is on the site what was the Federal Penitentiary during and after the Civil War.)

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6 thoughts on “Archivists Rock!”

  1. I have often thought that if I had been a librarian, I would have been drawn to become an archivist. I have several shelves of pre-20th century books in my home library, including a two volume English translation of Don Quixote, dated 1711. There’s something truly fascinating about an antiquarian book — the paper, the binding, the typography, the illustrations, and of course the text itself. A book that has survived centuries carries more than just words. That much can be reproduced in a digital text. It carries the history of previous owners who have held and enjoyed it, providing a tangible link to history. I can quite easily imagine myself in an alternate life, sitting quietly in the Rare Book Wing of some grand library. Maybe next time around ….

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  2. So much of our history is quickly lost and forgotten. Happily it seems that the trend over the last decade or two is to preserve our written, photographed, recorded material. As a result more people have access (especially where there is digital cataloging) and interest in our social history thrives.

    Here in Jersey (Channel Islands) our dedicated Archive Service was established in 1993. It has far more stuff than it can possibly process but it is an amazing resource.

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  3. I think that is true for most archives. There is a push to digitize many collections– That requires money and staff. Most archives are short on both. I have this fantasy about poking around archives, but so far it is only a fantasy. Never been to Jersey but I’ve read some very interesting books set there. Maybe someday….

    Like

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