Library of Congress Offers 23 Digitized Early Presidential Collections

From an LC email:

Library of Congress Completes Digitzation of 23 Early Presidential Collections

Completion of Project Includes Latest Digitization of Papers of Presidents Benjamin Harrison, William Howard Taft, Grover Cleveland and Calvin Coolidge

Only goes up through Calvin Coolidge in the third row.

The Library of Congress has completed a more than two decade-long initiative to digitize the papers of nearly two dozen early presidents. The Library holds the papers of 23 presidents from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge, all of which have been digitized and are now available online.

The Library plans to highlight each presidential collection on social media in the weeks leading up to the next presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021.

“Arguably, no other body of material in the Manuscript Division is of greater significance for the study of American history than the presidential collections,” said Janice E. Ruth, chief of the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress. “They cover the entire sweep of American history from the nation’s founding through the first decade after World War I, including periods of prosperity and depression, war and peace, unity of purpose and political and civil strife.”

The 23 presidential collections in the Library’s holdings, acquired through donation or purchase, are of such significant value that Congress enacted a law in 1957 directing the Library to arrange, index and microfilm the papers, an enormous job that concluded in 1976. With the dawn of the digital age, the collections of presidential papers were among the first manuscripts proposed for digitization. The conclusion of this effort marks the addition of more than 3.3 million images to the Library’s online archives.

“The writings and records of America’s presidents are an invaluable source of information on world events, and many of these collections are the primary sources for books and films that teach us about our nation’s history,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “We are proud to make these presidential papers available free of charge to even more researchers, students and curious visitors online.”

The collections include some of the nation’s most treasured documents, including George Washington’s commission as commander in chief of the American army and his first inaugural address; Thomas Jefferson’s rough draft of the Declaration of Independence; and Abraham Lincoln’s first and second inaugural addresses, along with many others.

The digitized presidential collections offer a robust set of primary resources and easy access for researchers, educators and students studying America’s early presidents.

For presidents who followed Coolidge, the National Archives and Records Administration administers the system of presidential libraries that house and manage the presidential records from President Herbert Hoover onward. The Library does not hold the original papers of all 29 presidents before Hoover, however. The papers of John Adams and John Quincy Adams, for example, are housed at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

With the digitization of papers from Presidents Benjamin Harrison, William Howard Taft, Grover Cleveland and Coolidge, the Library’s complete set of presidential collections is now available online for the first time.

Newly Digitized Collections

Papers of President Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901)

The Harrison collection includes 69,600 items (178,479 images), with the bulk of the collection dating from 1853 to 1901. The collection contains correspondence, speeches, articles, notebooks in shorthand, legal papers, financial records, scrapbooks, memorials, printed matter, memorabilia, and other papers, covering every aspect of Harrison’s life and career.

Papers of President William Howard Taft (1857-1930)

The Taft collection includes approximately 676,000 documents (785,977 images), with the bulk of the material dating from 1880 to 1930. These papers constitute the largest collection of original Taft documents in the world and the largest among the Library’s presidential papers. The collection contains family papers, personal and official correspondence, presidential and judicial files, speeches and addresses, legal files and notebooks, business and estate papers, engagement calendars, guest lists, scrapbooks, clippings, printed matter, memorabilia and photographs.

Papers of President Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)

The Cleveland collection includes 108,200 items (192,602 images), with the bulk of the material dating from 1885 to 1908. The collection contains correspondence, diaries, messages to Congress, speeches, writings, printed materials and other papers relating chiefly to Cleveland’s presidencies and presidential campaigns.

Papers of President Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

The Coolidge collection includes 179,000 documents (218,513 images), constituting the largest collection of original Coolidge documents in the world. The collection contains incoming correspondence with attachments, notes, carbon copies of outgoing letters from Coolidge or one of his secretaries, telegraph messages, appointment books and names and addresses of White House guests.

Full Set of Presidential Collections

The Library of Congress holds the following collections of presidential papers and has made each available online.

The digitization of these collections reflect advancement toward a goal in the Library’s user-centered strategic plan to expand access, making unique collections available when, where and how users need them. Learn more about the Library’s five-year plan at

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at; and register creative works of authorship at

Library Carrels 2020: Covid Night

Stanza one

Party tonight

Covid take flight

Not a mask anywhere in sight

Dancefloor is jumping, a crowd at the door

Think we squeeze in a few dozen more

Covid is just more fake news

To party is the freedom we choose

Stanza two

More patients tonight

No rest in sight

Death rates are up and now taking flight

We’re down on our knees and pray for relief

Covid is real is and more than a belief

We don’t think we have more to give

We’re praying our patients will live

Stanza three

You’ve now read both sides

Your turn to decide

Where’s the view, where you’ll abide?

Can you put up with wearing a mask?

Is that really just too much to ask?

Will you get a vaccine?

Or is it just too obscene?

Veteran’s History Project

Although Veteran’s Day has past and our older veterans are passing, there is time to capture the memories of those still around. One of the best ways to do this is to participate in the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project.

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

When I lived in San Diego, I did a few Veteran’s History Project interviews while volunteering at the San Diego Public Library, University City Branch. I interviewed Korean War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, and Cold War veterans. It was a fascinating experience.

I’m hoping to get back into–maybe through Zoom since that seems to be the most common platform nowadays.

Once you meet a veterans basic needs like housing and medical care, can you imagine a more heartfelt gift than capturing his or her story for the future?

You can look a veteran’s name up to see if he or she is already in there.

November is National Picture Book Month

The Randolph Caldecott Medal, frequently shortened to just the Caldecott, annually recognizes the preceding year’s “most distinguished American picture book for children”. It is awarded to the illustrator by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

Caldecott Medal

If you are unfamiliar with picture books, selecting a Caldecott Medal winner might be a good place to start.

2020 Medal Winner

The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander and published by Versify, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Kadir Nelson’s rich illustrations amplify Kwame Alexander’s poetic tribute to the resiliency, strength, and perseverance of the historical and present-day Black experience. Gripping, realistic oil portraits use light and forward movement to portray the deep humanity and contributions of Black brilliance in America.

“Through color and composition, Kadir Nelson’s daring visuals erupt off the page.  They challenge our emotional capacity in this layered journey of heroes,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Julie Roach.

2020 Honor Books

Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris, and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

“Oh, what a ride!” After tumbling into a river, Bear is swept into an epic journey, collecting woodland companions along the way. The river comes to life with Pham’s energetic lines, gradual increase of vivid color, and surprising page turns to form a rollicking adventure and bonding connections.

Double Bass Blues, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney, and published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Children’s Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

Ignited by an electrifying snap of the string bass, Nic navigates between the symphony of two worlds: music and community. Syncopated rhythms, musical harmony and familial love are vibrantly expressed through riotous color, dynamic lines, and kinetic movement. This inventive composition visually illuminates the auditory experience that is the blues.

Going Down Home With Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons, and published by Peachtree Publishing Company Inc.

An African American family reunion gives a boy a chance to connect to his vibrant roots. Featuring a warm, rich color palette, every spread has multiple, complex layers. Earthy imagery and Adinkra symbols help tell a story of intergenerational love and ancestral memory.  

UVA Library Ghosts

A recent list of statistics published about the University library includes many of the expected facts, things like the number of books (more than 5.1 million) and manuscripts and archives (19.1 million). One entry, however, is more surprising: “Ghosts reported: 2.”–Robert Vicellio

Alderman Library, University of Virginia

From “Ghoulish Grounds” Vicellio identifies two ghosts:

Dr. Bennett Wood Green, a Confederate surgeon whose collection of books was donated to the University library after he died in 1913. According to legend, Green’s ghost once haunted the Rotunda, which served as the library until 1938. When the books were moved to the newly constructed Alderman Library, Green’s ghost followed them across McCormick Road.

Dr. Bennett Wood Green

Alderman is being modernized and remodeled. Many of the books have been transferred to the Ivy Stacks on Old Ivy Road. Some of the book have been transferred to the Clemons, the undergraduate library. I don’t know where the Green collection ended up, but I wonder if Dr. Green followed his books to their current location.

The library’s other ghost haunts the Garnett Room, which houses a large collection of books donated by the family of Muscoe Russell Hunter Garnett. The ghost is not a member of the Garnett family, and is instead believed to be the ghost of a physician who often visited the family’s home in Fredericksburg, Va. The estate was abandoned after the Civil War and was vacant for many years. The collection of books, however, remained immaculate, and some say the doctor’s ghost took care of the collection he had admired while alive. The books were eventually given to Alderman Library, where the ghost still watches over the collection.

This collection seems to have ended up in Ivy Stacks. I wonder if the ghost likes his new accommodations.

Another Use for a Dead Card Catalog

When libraries began discarding their card catalogs in the 1980s and 1990s, there was much gnashing of teeth for people that grew up using one of the early information retrieval systems, typed or hand written on 3X5 cards. As long as there was an author, title, or subject card, you could find what you were looking for.

The wooden card catalogs were things of beauty. Whether a 6 drawer set sitting atop some file cabinet or rows of catalogs that filled a room with their lovely wooden symmetry.

The Graduate Hotel (formerly a Howard Johnson’s) in Charlottesville, has turned two card catalogs into their front desk. I don’t know their provenance but I hope they may have been repurposed from one of the University of Virginia Libraries.

In pre-Covid times, the tassels indicated which drawers held treats. The tassels near the floor held dog treats in this dog friendly hotel.

The Ghost and Miss Maddy

Maddy has been selected as the subject for this year’s Library Halloween t-shirt so I decided it was an opportune time to catch up with the Midway Library’s favorite mascot. 

  • What do you think about being the inspiration for this  year’s Halloween t -shirt?  Is your ghost, your buddy from Annex 2, Monty?

Mom and I were both happy and surprised when we found out about this year’s Halloween t-shirt.  Yes, Monty is the ghost in Annex 2, but I wouldn’t call him my buddy.  I don’t feel comfortable with him and I worry about him around my Mom.  After all, it is my job to protect her.

  • Your mom recently had another fall.  Was this as scary as the fall out of the  helicopter?  How did you help with her rehab?

It was very scary.  This time we were home all by ourselves.  I knew immediately something was wrong—my Mom fell so hard.  She hit her head on the door frame, broke her left arm and fractured her left foot.  Mom got herself up, made several phone calls, put her arm in a sling, and got my food, bowls and bed together and walked me up to the neighbors.  She left me there and told me she was going to the doctors.  That was a very long doctor’s appointment–she was gone 5 days!

When she finally got home, she couldn’t lift me up by herself so we came up with a way where I would jump up and she would get her right hand under my bottom and lift me into the chair.  It was a little clumsy, but it worked. 

After a couple of weeks, the doctor had her start bending her elbow, so I would sit on her lap and give her moral support.  If I thought she was slowing down, I would pat my paw on her tummy.  When she was done with those exercises, I would get a treat for being such a big help to her.

  • Do you like Halloween?  Do you greet the Trick or Treaters that come to do the door?  Do you dress  up for Halloween?

Yes, I do like Halloween.  Mom dresses me up for Halloween.  I have been an angel, a ballerina, a pumpkin and a ladybug.  I love putting on costumes—they make me feel very pretty and everyone always smiles. 

We are in Idaho a lot for Halloween, so I just normally sit on the couch with my Mom when the kids come to the door.

  • What is your favorite season?

My favorite seasons are fall and winter.  I like the cooler weather and Mom always decorates the house, especially for Christmas.  There are lots of good scents, pretty lights and different things in the house.  For Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas I get treats, so it’s hard to choose which one I like best.

  • Do you look forward to your Mom going back to work?  What changes do you expect because of COVID?

I know before Mom got hurt we weren’t going to the ship and I couldn’t understand—in fact we weren’t going anywhere and I really like going for rides.  We went to the ship last week for the first time for a meeting and there weren’t hardly any of my special friends there. The ship didn’t have as many people there either.  I don’t understand what COVID is, but I don’t like it.  I am looking forward to things going back to normal—hopefully that will be soon. 

  • I hear the Midway Library staff wants to write a book based upon the t-shirt.  Do you think it should be a picture book, comic book, or graphic novel?  What will be your part of the book writing and preparing?  You are going to be a media star and  you heard it hear first!

The meeting Mom and I went to last week was about the book.  I’m not sure what all of it was about but I know my Mom was very impressed with the work that had been done—I heard her tell them that.  My only part of the meeting was lying on the floor and listening and then getting pets from everyone there. 

  • Are there other publicity outlets you would like to explore—plush Maddy toys, YouTube channel,  Instagram, Pinterest?

Since I really like squeaky plush toys, maybe a Maddy plush toy would be something interesting.

  • What do you and your Mom have planned for Thanksgiving?

We’re going to go to my Aunt Shelba’s house in Riverside County for Thanksgiving.  In August, my cousin and her husband moved very close to Mom and me and they will be going to Aunt Shelba’s as well.  It will be a fun day—Aunt Shelba and I are very close.

  • What do you think of all of the wild fires on the West Coast?   Have you been affected by them yet?

The fires are terrible and I know they have hurt a lot of people.  We had one not too far from our home and with the Santa Ana winds moving in there was fear that it could come close to our home.  It was a very tiring day.  Mom spent a lot of time going from room to room and putting things together and since I knew she was upset, I had to follow her everywhere.  Finally when the afternoon came and I was exhausted, I would lay in the hallway so I could see what room she was in. 

  • What is one thing you would like your legions of adoring fans to know about you? 

I just hope everyone is well and that soon we get to do the things we always did.  I miss seeing all of my friends–you know I’m a very social girl!

Since Maddy and Nan answered these question, they are both happily back on the Midway.

WWII Sketchbooks have been Digitized by Library of Congress

Eyewitness drawings of military life created while Victor Lundy served in the U.S. Army; from his training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina; through transport aboard ship across the Atlantic; to frontline duty at various locations in France.

To Lundy, who survived the war to become an architecture, sketching was as natural as breathing.

From Modern Met, “Lundy, who went on to have an acclaimed architecture career, donated his eight sketchbooks to the Library of Congress in 2009. The sketchbooks have all been digitally archived and are now available for viewing online. Lundy’s gift is a precious one, as in this age of continued war and terror it is more important than ever to learn from our past history.”

Phil Eakin Earns Over 16,000 Volunteer Hours for the USS Midway (CV-41) Library

A man year equals 2080 hours a year. Phil has been volunteered the equivalent of over 8 years.

Some of the highlight from Phil’s profile in the Scuttlebutt, by editor Carl Snow.

  • Philip Joseph Eakin was born on March 14 and grew up in Ft Wayne, Indiana
  • After graduating from Central Catholic HS in Ft Wayne, he attended and graduated from Villanova University near Philadelphia, PA
  • After graduation with the financial aide of an NROTC scholarship, Phil was commissioned a Navy Ensign and after some preliminary training,was assigned to USS Higbee (DD-806) as first the navigator and then the CIC (Combat Information Center) Officer
  • During his tour on the Higbee he was involved in the “Battle of Dong Hoi Gulf” where the Higbee was bombed by a North Vietnamese MiG-17
  • Phil admits that this tour was his most rewarding in terms of professional development and contribution to a naval unit
  • Phil changed focus from being a ship handler to work for Navy Intelligence. He worked for Defense Intelligence Agency and was later assigned to tours in San Diego, Hawaii, and Australia.
  • While in Australia, he met his future wife, Carol, who was working for the Australian government at the time.
  • After Phil left Australia, he received orders as the Intelligence Officer on the USS Tarawa (LHA-1). When the Tarawa was on a West Pac deployment, Carol arranged to meet Phil in Hong Kong where they sort of became engaged.
  • Phil married Carol in Canberra. They moved to Sabre Springs, north of San Diego, CA
  • Commander Phil Eakin and Carol had back to back tour in Hawaii where Phil retired. They moved to Australia after that: Melbourne, Perth, and finally Darwin.
  • During his time in Australia, one of Phil’s job was a punter, where he used his database and intelligence skills to bet on horse racing for a living, working for the leading Australian bookmaker in Darwin.
  • Meanwhile, Carol got a UN job supporting the East Timor mission.
  • They returned to San Diego, but Carol got recruited for another UN post to Khartoum, Sudan. Phil remained in SD.
  • In 2006, Phil took some guests aboard the USS Midway and impressed by the Docents. Because he had thought about getting a Masters in Library Science, he became interested in the Museum’s Library. He worked for a docent for two years and has worked the library for about fourteen years.

Why does Phil volunteer for the USS Midway?

Being around good people. I missed the camaraderie of the Navy and found that again at the Midway.”

October Holidays to Celebrate

October is the tenth month of the year in the and and the sixth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The eighth month in the old calendar of Romulus c. 750 BC, October retained its name (from the Latin and Greek ôctō meaning “eight”) after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had originally been created by the Romans. In Ancient Rome, one of three Mundus patet would take place on October 5, Meditrinalia October 11, Augustalia on October 12, October Horse on October 15, and Armilustrium on October 19. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar. Among the Anglo-Saxons, it was known as Ƿinterfylleþ, because at this full moon (fylleþ) winter was supposed to begin.

October is also Health Literacy month. In this time of Covid, with so much conflicting information, we need 20/20 vision to understand what is myth and what is real. On October 1, Donald Trump tweeted that he and Melania both tested positive for COVID.

Health Literacy Month is a time for organizations and individuals to promote the importance of understandable health information. This annual, worldwide, awareness-raising event has been going strong ever since Helen Osborne founded it in 1999.

Greatest wealth is health

October is also Bullying Prevention Month. Anti-bullying activities include STOMP Out Bullying™’s signature campaign World Day of Bullying Prevention™ on the first Monday of every October.

Little Free Library in Norfolk, VA that is filled with anti-bullying books

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By working together, we can inspire hope and become a force for good “to get her” access to the care she needs.

Columbus or Indigenous People Day is October 12.

Columbus Day is a U.S. holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492, and Columbus Day 2020 is on Monday, October 12. It was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states as early as the 18th century, but did not become a federal holiday until 1937. For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. But throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have proposed since the 1970s including Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Indigenous peoples first proposed the day during a 1977 United Nations conference on discrimination against them. But it wasn’t until 1989 that South Dakota became the first state to switch Columbus Day to Native Americans’ Day, celebrating it for the first time in 1990. It is observed in Maine, New Mexico and South Dakota.

A blue moon will occur on Halloween. It is called a Blue Moon because it is the second full moon in a month. The first full moon is October 1 and 2 and is called the Harvest Moon. There are also seasonal blue moons.

Seasonal Blue Moons first. It’s an older definition for Blue Moons, stemming from old skylore. A year has 12 months, of course. A month – or “moonth” – has a length more or less based on a single orbit of the moon around Earth. What we call a season – winter, spring, summer, fall – typically lasts three months, and typically has three full moons. So this would be a fourth full moon withing a season.

I Asked Google What the Green Fruit Was.

The first search options were to look things up in print indexes, like Readers Guide..

In print, if you wanted to learn about child abuse in military families, you would look up child abuse and hope it might include some mention of military families or you would look up military and hope it included something about child abuse

The next stage was the ability to combine keywords in these few paid databases such as BRS or DIALOG.

If I wanted something on child abuse in military families, I would use Child Abuse AND Military Families. If I wanted something either child abuse or military families, I would type in “Child Abuse” OR “Military Families” and could retrieve results for either search term.

This search capability was limited to a few academic or public libraries.

The arrival of CDs in the 1990s expanded the number of people who could access the CDs, even if they did not have Internet access.

The Internet and later the World Wide Web made searching accessible to almost anyone wanting to research things online. It still is not all of online or free.

However searching has improved with the addition of AI and algorithms. When I saw a green fruit I did not recognized scattered in the grass of our churchyard, I typed in the question ” What is a green fruit that grows on trees?” into the Google Search box.

This was my result: (Note, it also corrected my spelling.)

Osage Orange is also known as Hedge Apple. It’s not considered edible.

Troy Prince, Creator of Midway Sailor Website

I have come to know Troy through all of the Midway related research, documents, pictures, and ephemera he has shared with the USS Midway (CV-41) Library over the years. His site Midway Sailor, is a wonderful source for all things Midway.

Troy as a Toon


I started out in life as a “Military Brat” because my father was in the U.S. Navy. I spent my early years moving around the States and the world. After high school, I decided that I “liked” the military life so much that I joined up myself. I spent ten years in the Navy, with nine of those stationed in Japan. I was assigned to the Gauntlets of VAQ-136, an EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare squadron for the first three years. Our home port was NAF Atsugi, Japan and we embarked aboard USS Midway, CV-41. When Midway was replaced by USS Independence, CV-62, I cross-decked over to the  Indy with the squadron. After I left the squadron in 1992, I transferred to a two year shore duty billet at NAF Atsugi AIMD. I then transferred to another shore duty billet at NAF Misawa AIMD for four years.

In 1998 I decided that it was time to move on and I left the service. I moved to Long Beach, Washington and went back to school for a while. After school, I worked as a custom furniture craftsman and remodeled a house. When those jobs were finished, I opened an auto detailing business.  The detailing business was great, but Washington’s notorious rainy winters put a stop to it. I then went to work for a resort beachfront hotel and started a website design business. In October of 2000, I moved across the country to Minnesota, where I am currently the Office Administrator for a company in Minneapolis.

During my younger years, I attended eight elementary schools, two junior high schools, and two high schools. Military life had my family frequently moving around the world. I have lived in San Diego, California (actually, I was born there) – Thousand Oaks, California – Key West, Florida (twice) – Bermuda – North Ogden and Park City, Utah – Pt. Mugu, California (near Oxnard) – Ferndale, California (near Eureka) – Haverfordwest, Wales – High Wycombe, England (this is where I graduated from London Central High School) – Honolulu, Hawaii – Orlando, Florida – Memphis, Tennessee, – Atsugi, Misawa, and Yokosuka, Japan – Long Beach, Washington – and most recently Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Throughout my life’s travels, I have had the opportunity to live in or visit several countries. I have been to Abu Dhabi (UAE), Australia, Bermuda, Diego Garcia, England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Wales. I visited many of these countries several times and they became second homes to me. In each, I tried to learn their culture and history. I made new friends and have wonderful memories of the times spent in each country. I have sailed the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, Sea of Japan, South China Sea, Persian Gulf, and have crossed the equator twice.

Interview with Troy

  1. You obviously have a deep love for the USS Midway.  What did you do on the Midway and what about the ship caused you to fall in love with her?

I was an Aviation Machinist’s Mate in VAQ-136 Gauntlets aboard the Midway from January 1989 to August 1991. I loved the close relationship between the Air Wing and ship’s company. Although Midway was frequently at sea and the hours were long, the places we visited and things we saw made it an incredible experience.

  • What made you decide to establish your Midway website?  How has it  evolved over the years?

I created the USS Midway section as a subsection of my original personal website back in January 1998 and it was originally intended to simply share the history of this great ship. However, over the years, I have acquired an enormous collection of photos, stories, memorabilia, etc. and it has grown significantly. I still collect Midway-related photos, cruise books, newsletters, postal cachets, and other items to share on my website. Admittedly, I have lately been posting the majority of these items on Facebook instead of on my website, but I do plan on adding them there as well. I have also shared every publication and document I’ve collected with the USS Midway Museum’s Research Library.

  • You have an excellent rapport with the Midway Library.  How did you and the Library get in touch with each other?

Because of the research I had already finished at the time, I was approached by the USS Midway Museum in January 2004 (their name was San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum at the time) and was asked permission to use the information from my website to help them develop the beginnings of their historical records and publications for the Museum. In June 2004, I went on a vacation to San Diego to attend the Museum’s Opening Week. Upon arrival, I was (willingly) “Shanghaied” by the Museum’s Safety Team and put to work for the entire 13 days I was there. In more recent years, I had been receiving emails from docents asking questions and I had also reached out to the Midway Library if I ever had any questions. In April 2019, I began corresponding with Bonnie Brown on a regular basis and it soon developed into sharing information, as well as a good friendship.

After Troy was shanghaied to be part of the USS Midway Safety Team the week that the Museum opened, he is standing next to the roses he painted while stationed on the Midway
  • How many hours a week or a month to spend on the care and feeding of your website?

The time I spend on my website has varied over the years. I used to work on it at least two hours and sometimes longer every day. Although I haven’t done as much updating to the website in recent years, I have still been working on research projects as much as I can. I post most of my new photo and memorabilia acquisitions on Facebook in the various Midway groups. Depending on what’s going on in life, I am working on Midway projects almost every day. The times can vary from just a few minutes to over eight hours.

  • You’ve done an incredible amount of research on the Midway.  What sources do you use the most?

In the early years of my research, I relied on books from my personal library, which consists of over 1,000 books. The Internet has always been a source, but it’s not always reliable. In the past few years, a lot more information has become available online and in the form of ship deck logs and Command Operation Reports. Since developing a close relationship with the Midway Library, I’ve also had access to more newsletters and publications produced by the ship.

  • What  has been your most difficult question or project to research?

The most difficult question has been “What was Midway’s breakaway song during UNREPs?” It seems no one can agree on one specific song and many times the answer comes from their memory of being on a different ship. The most involved research has been (and continues to be) my “Deployments & Port Visits, Air Wings & Squadrons” project. It begins in 1943 and will end in 1992 with every underway period, port visit, significant event or incident, and squadron embarked listed in detail.

  • What things about the Midway would you still like to  find out?

Since I was in the Air Wing during my time aboard, I never visited many of the ship’s company spaces or learned about the jobs they did.

  • What would you like to do or learn on your next visit to the USS Midway?

See my answer to question number seven.

  • What  would you like to do next with the website?

I’ve been making subtle cosmetic changes to it over the years and would like to get that finished. I have also been exploring a new way of displaying the thousands of photos on the website. I also need to add the huge amount of material that I’ve only been sharing on Facebook, as well as finishing the long list of research projects I’ve started.

Independent Book Store Day: August 29

Do you like to read?  Do you like to support local businesses?  Then  today is for you.

One of the benefits of living near the college town of Charlottesville,  we have many indie bookstores to chose from.  Some specialize in new books, others specialize in second hand books and memorabilia.

New Dominion Book Store  on the historic Downtown Mall bills itself as the “oldest independent bookseller in Virginia” since it has been in continuous operation under a variety of owners since 1924..  Right  now it is open for limited browsing, local delivery, and curbside pickup.  Normally it is a hive of local literary activity with author readings, new book releases, and panel discussions like the Charlottesville Reading series.  Although most of these have been cancelled, the store does have a few virtual events like the monthly UVA Club of Charlottesville Book Club and a virtual book launch.  New Dominion is also a sponsor in the annual March, Virginia Festival of the Book.

Blue Whale BooksBlue Whale Books, also on the Downtown Mall, specializes in antiquarian books in good or better condition, and antique maps and prints.

From the Facebook page:

We have about 20,000 used books, and hundreds of antiquarian / rare books. We also have 1,000 original prints, especially chromolithographs from the 1800s. Our maps are 18th and 19th century, with the occasional early Virginia map from the early or mid-1600s. The owner also performs appraisals on a regular basis.

book piles

Taking Books to the People: Pt 14, Anti-Bullying Little Free Library

I want to encourage the kids that are being bullied that they are not alone, it’s not their fault and there’s ways of going about it, there’s ways of expressing yourself,” says Lindsey.

RBe Nice book coverosean Lindsey, Christian author and comic book writer, has created the Anti-bullying Little Free Library in Norfolk’s Park Place Peace Garden.  It sits at the corner of 35th Street and Newport Avenue, just steps away from James Monroe Elementary School.

“On the top shelf of the little library are books to help parents tackle the tough subject of bullying and on the bottom shelf are books for kids. The little library is encouraging kids to be their best, be bold and be positive while offering resources to parents.” writes Koto Lasaki from 3WTKR

Titles include some of Lindsey’s books and antibullying books by other local artists.

Anti-bullying little free library

This is Lindsey’s second Little Free Library in the area.

National Book Lovers Day-August 9

August 9 is National Book Lovers Day.

I am a bibliophile and have been one since childhood.  In fact, Biblio is my avatar name. Books were my favorite birthday gifts.  A week before I got married I took the GRE  test so I could go to Library School the following year.  (I knew that I wanted to be a Librarian.  But no, we did not get to sit around and read books all day.) Unlike some of my fellow librarians, I never had the urge to catalog my Golden Books.

With so many books and so little time, I’ve turned more into a tsudonko. (Tsundoku is acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. The term originated in the Meiji era (1868–1912) as Japanese slang. It combines elements of tsunde-oku, (to pile things up ready for later and leave) and dokusho (reading books).

Step back in time
  • The very first books used parchment or vellum (calf-skin) for the book pages.
  • The book covers were made of wood and often covered with leather.
  • Clasps or straps kept the books closed.
  • Public libraries appeared in the Middle Ages.
  • Public libraries often chained the books to a shelf or a desk to prevent theft.
Moving forward

Along with several recent developments, book manufacturers use digital printing. Book pages are printed using toner rather than ink. As a result of digital printing, print-on-demand opens up a whole new realm of publishing. In this case, distributors don’t print the books until the customer places the order.

More and more, people read E-books. E-book (electronic book) refers to a book-length publication in digital form. They are usually available through the internet. However, they can also be found on CD-ROM and other systems. Read an E-book on a computer or via a portable book display device known as an e-book reader, such as a Reader, Nook or Kindle.

Contributed by my friend and shipmate Bonnie Brown, when neither of us could figure out how to put it the comments.
Knowing cat

How do you plan to celebrate National Book Lovers Day?

Reblog: Most Popular Book Set in Each State

If you can’t visit there personally, at least you can read a book set in that state. Here is a map of the most  popular book set in each state.

valentine stack of books

From classics like “To Kill A Mockingbird” (Alabama) and “Little Women” (Massachusetts) to more modern picks like “The Lovely Bones” (Pennsylvania) and “Ready Player One” (Ohio), there are many options for those with different literary tastes.

Bike Book Week Starts Today

Although I can not much additional information on this library inspired week, it is a smaller alternative to the more traditional bookmobiles.

Pottsboro (TX) Library Book Bikes
The week appears to be sponsored by

From the Pima County (AZ) Public Library Book Bikes History

They may roll into town astride the Bookbike, Books on Bikes, the Bibliocycle, the BookCycle, or the Library on Wheels. They hail from such far-flung lands as Omaha, Tucson, Boulder, Los Angeles, Boston, and beyond. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor threat of overdue fines stays these dedicated librarians from the enthusiastic completion of their civic appearances. They roam the neighborhood on customized bikes, trikes, tandems and trailers, heavy-laden with books but buoyant with good cheer. They are the biking librarians and their trusty book bike steeds, and they are coming soon to a community event near you.

Book bikes are the latest earth-friendly, human-powered mobile library outposts. They have been rolling through the streets of America since 2008 and are rapidly growing in number and popularity. Among the ever-expanding book bike fleet are those of the public libraries in Berkeley, Boston, Boulder, Cleveland Heights, Denver, Evanston, IL, Longmont, CO, Los Angeles, Maricopa County, AZ, Oakland, CA, Omaha, Pima County, AZ, and Seattle. Coming soon are library book bikes for San Francisco, Montclair, NJ, Rochester, MN, and Austin, TX.