“Let them eat TASTYKAKE” will be pronounced from the wall of Eastern State Penitentiary for the last time on Saturday, July 14. Eastern State Penitentiary announced the end of the Bastille Day tradition back in June. It’s an incredibly expensive event and ESP is a non-profit in a financially unstable non-profit-unfriendly world. Funding used to run the event will be redirected towards addressing criminal justice … Continue reading Flight of the TASTYKAKE: Bastille Day’s Farewell Tour
In honor of this weekend’s 29th annual International Boxing Hall of Fame induction ceremony (yeah, Vitali!), I thought I’d dust off the ol’ blog and dump a few cool, interesting, and informative boxing finding aids and other resources that I’ve gathered. First and foremost, I tip my hat and give a massive virtual fist-bump to the Hank Kaplan Boxing Collection at the Brooklyn College Library. … Continue reading Finding Aid Friday: Pathfinders to Pugilism
Michael W. Twitty’s first book, The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, was released August 1, 2017. Twitty, an African-American culinary historian, traces his family tree back to his ancestors’ first steps on New World soil. He explores the possibilities of who came from where based on family lore, DNA testing, and the history of human migration — and … Continue reading Finding Aid Friday: Love for The Cooking Gene
Woooooo!!!! #GreatAmericanEclipse2017!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!! Last weekend, my family joined countless other families stuffed onto I-77 and trekked down to Columbia, SC to view the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, in all it’s total splendor! Columbia, a nice little city with surprisingly good coffee and a really great zoo, was smack-dab in the middle of the path of totality. We had a good two minutes or … Continue reading From Megalodon to P-Funk: A Pre-Eclipse Trip to the South Carolina State Museum
In the early 1900s, one could usually find a boxing exhibition or prize fight on any given Friday night in New York City. Punches would be thrown and dreams would be made and lost among the cigarette and cigar smoke of the crowd. The card held at the Long Acre Athletic Club on October 27, 1911, was one of these shows, with one notable difference: … Continue reading On This Day in 1911: A Prize Fight for Suffrage
Sometimes a collection’s provenance, the history of ownership and/or physical custody, is very straight-forward: creator -> repository or creator -> donor -> repository. Occasionally, it’s more of a mess. Things leave the creator’s custody without permission, end up somewhere else, things get lost… That’s what happened to the New York State Athletic Commission’s meeting minutes. Some background info: I fell down the research rabbit hole on a … Continue reading On the Provenance of the Commission’s Meeting Minutes: From the Garage to the Hall to the Archives
In time for Labor Day, the very long-form version of my post on gender-based discrimination and its role in the legislative history of the women’s wrestling ban in New York.
Is there a library or archive that collects labels from alcohol bottles? Outside of individual distilleries, vineyards, and hooch factories, of course. An institution with an all-encompassing (or at least a regionally-focused) collection dedicated to the preservation and study of those artistic ads slapped onto the sides of hooch containers. There are menu collections at New York Public Library, Cornell, University of Washington, and Culinary Institute of America — so … Continue reading On Archival Collections I’d Like to See: Booze Labels
The New York State Athletic Commission’s history of records management contains as many twists and turns as anything seen in a wrestling ring. Commission meeting minutes, from 1920 to 1977, went missing from the agency’s office in the late 1970s and eventually appeared in the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s collection about a decade later. Neither the Commission nor the State of New York knew about it until 1998.
If any one person in wrestling was a particular thorn in the side of the New York State Athletic Commission in the mid-20th century, it might be Pedro Martinez. Not only did he argue against the Commission regarding its policies towards professional wrestling, he also challenged them on the women’s wrestling ban and specifically called it a violation of civil rights.