On Chicago’s Central Library: Sexy Like a Prince Album

I was in Chicago for a six-hour layover and went into total tourist mode, taking pictures of everything. Public art? *click* Office building lobby art? *click* Building preservation in action? *click clickety click click click* My only tourist goal, for the brief period I was to be in the city, was to go to the Museum of Science and Industry and see the Pioneer Zephyr, because I like trains … Continue reading On Chicago’s Central Library: Sexy Like a Prince Album

On the New York State Archives, or FIELD TRIP!!

I recently jumped down the research rabbit hole and ended up in Albany, New York, at the New York State Archives. I’ll get into the specifics of that adventure a bit later, but first — ARCHIVES FIELD TRIP!!! Established in 1971 and officially open for business in 1978, the New York State Archives is the repository for the state government’s archival records and historic documents … Continue reading On the New York State Archives, or FIELD TRIP!!

On the Book Haul Breakdown, or My 2016 TBR List

I told my husband that I wanted something from my Amazon wish list for Christmas. My wish list is, in many ways, a living, breathing expression of my academic and intellectual interests over a ten year period. Its ebbs (the inclusion of the Southern Vampire Mysteries series was when my interest in cerebral development was at its lowest*) and flows (population politics in Italy) are reflected in the … Continue reading On the Book Haul Breakdown, or My 2016 TBR List

On Mr. Stewart’s Trip to Raw, or Our Moment of Zen

Originally published March 2015. I’m reposting this in honor or Jon Stewart’s upcoming appearance at SummerSlam. Many people don’t seem to understand why  — or how — Jon Stewart would deign to… lower himself to something as plebian as hosting the #2 pro-wrestling event of the year. [eye roll] As if a satirist is incapable of enjoying a parodic form of vaudevillian entertainment rooted in … Continue reading On Mr. Stewart’s Trip to Raw, or Our Moment of Zen

On Standing at the Archives Gate, or a Literal Glimpse into the Penn Museum Archives

     I was wandering around the Penn Museum last weekend and stumbled into this sign while mesmerized by an amazing touchscreen installation in the Native American Voices exhibition. I love it when archival collections are put on display. Some kinds of wealth should be flaunted, and I would like to see the breadth and depth of Penn’s colorful riches. Also, the title “Unearthed in the Archives” is brilliant. … Continue reading On Standing at the Archives Gate, or a Literal Glimpse into the Penn Museum Archives

On Buying the Whole Damned Store, or Why I Shouldn’t Go Into Bookstores Alone

In the recovery world there’s someone called a “sober coach”. Official titles vary but, in short, it’s someone you employ to keep you away from the hooch. I need a bookstore coach, someone who’ll spritz me with a spray bottle every time I go near a bookstore, like one would do to a cat about to scratch a new couch. “Hey! Psst!! Don’t do that! … Continue reading On Buying the Whole Damned Store, or Why I Shouldn’t Go Into Bookstores Alone

On Museum Displays, or Geeking Out Over Pins, Stands, and a Gantry

Most people go to museums and galleries to see art and artifacts, learn about the history of people and places, or just be entertained by interesting things. I go to see how those things are displayed and see how they were mounted. I am a total exhibits geek. My second day as a collections intern at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum was spent organizing and reorganizing … Continue reading On Museum Displays, or Geeking Out Over Pins, Stands, and a Gantry

On Shining the Literal Light, or Showing Those Behind the Scenes

Last week’s trip to Virginia was the first for my in-laws. They were really taken by Historic Jamestowne‘s wonderfully executed Archaearium and the stories told by the artifacts on display. I gushed over the photos of archaeologists, conservators, laboratory worker bees, storage systems and workrooms. You know, the people and places that make it possible for those stories to be told. Photographs of lab work dot the exhibition … Continue reading On Shining the Literal Light, or Showing Those Behind the Scenes

On the Spandex Codex, or Cataloging Ensues When Archivist Watches Wrestling

I’m a mom of two young children. The only “me” time I get is late at night when I’m too zonked to do anything meaningful and too exhausted to clean the house. I want to think and ruminate on something, but, eh, so tired. When I get bored of losing at Candy Crush, I’ll poke around YouTube and watch classic wrestling. My favorite male wrestler is a … Continue reading On the Spandex Codex, or Cataloging Ensues When Archivist Watches Wrestling

On an Unpopular Opinion, or Break It So No One Buys It

The Islamic State tweeted video (not linked because I don’t approve of snuff films) of pieces from the Mosul Museum being shattered, smashed, destroyed.  My undergraduate education was capped off with research on an early Old Babylonian site that was looted and destroyed in the events surrounding the second Iraq War. I find this wanton destruction terribly heartbreaking. Heartbreaking for the people of Iraq who love their … Continue reading On an Unpopular Opinion, or Break It So No One Buys It