On Archival Collections I’d Like to See: Booze Labels

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

On the Other Side of the Window: Being an Archives Researcher

It’s different being a researcher in an archive as opposed to being an archivist in your own archive. I guess it can be likened to being a guest in someone’s home in a different country and culture: You’re not sure where things are, what exactly you’re supposed to do, or what’s going to happen. You just hope to not fumble around like an idiot or break things. … Continue reading On the Other Side of the Window: Being an Archives Researcher

Finding Aid Friday: Get Out of Town Edition

On Monday, July 4, Americans will be celebrating Independence Day. They will observe this holiday, of course, by taking to their cars, trains, buses, boats and planes to enjoy their three-day weekend elsewhere. This edition of Finding Aid Friday features transportation collections. Learn a little bit about some popular modes of travel and the records preserving their histories. Onward! Or, rather, skyward! The first finding aid is … Continue reading Finding Aid Friday: Get Out of Town Edition

Finding Aid Friday: NYC Pride Edition

NYC Pride is an annual event that marks the Stonewall Riots, an uprising against the discriminatory anti-LGBT raids conducted by the New York Police Department on the eponymous pub on June 28, 1969. The first March was held on the riot’s first anniversary. This upcoming Sunday, it’ll be a massive parade that will recognize the struggles that New York’s, the country’s, and the world’s gay communities face, memorialize … Continue reading Finding Aid Friday: NYC Pride Edition

To the People Reviewing My FOIL Requests: An Apology

Dear Records Access Officers, Hi. I’m the person who’s responsible for coming up with two FOIL requests that might be proving bothersome to you. I tried my best to be as clear and concise in my initial requests: providing dates, names, even links to finding aids and record entries in the State Library catalog. Maybe I should have been a bit more clear about the fact … Continue reading To the People Reviewing My FOIL Requests: An Apology

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 Pugilist Parodies, or Boxing in Political Cartoons

In my online wanderings, I like to look through the OPACs (Online Public Access Catalogs) of libraries, museums, and archives far and wide to see what they have on the squared circle. Boxing has been a major part of the fabric of cultural life for so long that most repositories have a little something featuring the sweet science. My favorite boxing finds aren’t of actual fights or fighters. … Continue reading On Pugilist Parodies, or Boxing in Political Cartoons

On NYPL Today, or a Slightly Depressing Trip Down Memory Lane

I was never the little girl who wanted to twirl around a dance floor with Prince Charming at a grand ball, like in Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. I wanted to wear couture and twirl around the corridors of the main New York Public Library (NYPL) building. To hell with princes and happily-ever-afters! Give me a ball skirt and after-hours access to NYPL so I could swish and swirl and read … Continue reading On NYPL Today, or a Slightly Depressing Trip Down Memory Lane

On the Hank Kaplan Boxing Archive: Part 1, or Initial Impressions of an Archivist-On-Hiatus

Earlier this month, I spent two business days going through files in the Hank Kaplan Boxing Archive, housed in Brooklyn College Library. The collection is absolutely huge and, while my subject was narrow (boxing and wrestling promotion at Madison Square Garden in the early- to mid-twentieth century, with a focus on the intersection of boxing and wrestling promotion — purely for my own interest, as I doubt there … Continue reading On the Hank Kaplan Boxing Archive: Part 1, or Initial Impressions of an Archivist-On-Hiatus

On Romancing the Stacks at #SAA15, or Archival Supply Porn: Literary Edition

Since there seems to be in influx of snarky ladies (and the people who love them) visiting the blog, I thought I’d bump up one of my favorite posts, originally published August 31, 2015. Consider it fodder for a boring, dreary, drizzly Friday when you’d rather do anything else but work. Sit and ponder the stories below and the myriad of ways a glass of … Continue reading On Romancing the Stacks at #SAA15, or Archival Supply Porn: Literary Edition