Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Archive Adventures: I'm Dreaming...

We're getting festive this year as we gradually make our way out of the fall semester, into finals, and ultimately to winter break.Our lovely coworker Ali decorated her cubicle to the brim with holiday cheer, including a lovely REMSBY tree complete with tinsel and a dapper-looking skull (from Halloween).

Last year I explored the Allison-Shelley Christmas book collection, but completely walked by a shelf of delightful gifts. It really was like waking up to Christmas morning when I popped into the Allison-Shelley room earlier today and saw the boxes. How did I miss those?! I started unpacking boxes and was thrilled to find toys that any kid from the 1800's would have given their left leg to have under their own tree. (I also played with them for a little after taking pictures...very carefully...). Their connection to the Allison-Shelley Collection is through the Children's Literature section. These games and toys were all made in Germany, but were intended for export. Thus, why you'll see different languages on the boxes.


 The first one I pulled out, and possibly my favorite, was the Toy Soldier set. Even though my gifts were all plastic horse models and books, nostalgia of "'Twas the Night'" and "The Nutcracker" always have me fondly remembering tin soldiers and choo-choo trains. There were so many more of these little guys. I hope that people leave early today so I can go back in and stage a miniature war!

Speaking of that famous poem, I found a panorama of it close by. Like all children's illustrated books, it has the tendency to creep me out. You just turn the little wooden dowels and you can scroll through the entire poem in pictures.

Santa kind of looks like a total creeper. It also frightens me that he's walking through a LIT fireplace. This is not a man you want to mess with.

Eventually, my squeals of joy attracted the attention of the Head of Special Collections. He instantly got as excited as I did by the toys and invited me into our vault to browse our more precious collections. While I was in there, I found tiny packs of playing cards. Mostly today you see the standard decks in the club-spades-hearts-diamonds variety, maybe some novelty versions, and tarot decks (which were actually for card games long before they became an occult item). So it's a real treat to see original decks and their unique artistry. I love the attention to detail in the middle set, and the strange images of the first. I'm sure there's a reason for a giant eagle to be carrying off a sheep, right?

Note the upper left card.

And just because no blog is complete without at least one book...here's one that will get a laugh out of you! Can't have a holiday in PA without the Dutch!

From all of us in Special Collections, we wish you the happiest of holidays and the safest of travels. Make sure to cuddle up with a good book and your favorite hot drink, relax, and enjoy your vacation until we see you in 2014!


Friday, December 6, 2013

James Mullen Christmas Card Collection on Display

For December only, Christmas cards designed by James Mullen are on display in the Special Collections exhibitions gallery. Mullen was a Professor of Art and Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts, Emeritus at State University of New York College at Oneonta. Professor Mullen taught courses in drawing, printmaking, painting, design, and art appreciation as well as Honors Courses.

The Special Collections Library has a collection of original Christmas cards created by Mullen and by former Penn State faculty members, including Edwin Zoller and George Zoretich, as well as other artists. The cards in the collection were created between 1962 and 2004.

On display are several cards designed by Mullen:

Pine Cone, ca. 1966; pen and ink, offset lithograph

Gifts – Christmas 2003, four versions; color linoleum block print

Landscape (view at backyard 2 Brigham Road, Oneonta, NY. 1981; burin engraving

Pilgrim’s Way I, 1997; burin engraving

December Shelf, 2000; linoleum block print (image below)

Nightflower, ca. 1990; engraved zinc plate and proof impressions plus original burin engraving and aquatint prints

A finding aid is available for the entire collection: 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Finding Aids Online

The Special Collections staff are finishing up 2013 with a flourish of activity improving access to a number of collections. New and updated finding aids just published include:

Donald C. Henderson Papers - This collection of papers of librarian Donald C. Henderson includes correspondence, articles, newspapers, diplomas, publications, artifacts, catalogs, photographs, and articles.

Brent Wilson Papers - Brent Wilson joined Penn State's faculty in 1974 as a professor of art education as well as head of the art education program in the School of Visual Arts (1983-1985; 1989-1999). The collection reflects Wilson's participation in implementing National art education policies and document his service as an administrator and art education faculty researcher on children in art education.

Eighth Air Force Archive - The Eighth Air Force archive documents both the fighter and bomber groups that served in Europe and Africa during World War II and the Eighth Air Force veterans organizations nationwide. It contains books, photographs, audio-visual materials, oversize graphic materials, artifacts, memorabilia, microfilm, and organizational records donated by veterans and their families.

Hudson Coal Company Records - The Hudson Coal Company was a subsidiary of the Delaware and Hudson Company, which changed its name in 1899 from Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. The collection consists of microfilms of office files generated by the Hudson Coal Company of Pennsylvania for anthracite coal mines located in Lackawana and Luzerne counties, and microfilms of payroll records for mines located in Luzerne County. There are also several photographs.

James T. Stuart Family Papers - The collection documents multiple generations of the Stuart family, with a strong focus on the life of Civil War veteran James T. Stuart. The family resided in central and western Pennsylvania, and the collection consists of correspondence, photographs, family records, and other related materials.

Dickinson School of Law Student Records -  The Dickinson School of Law, founded in 1834 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is the sixth oldest law school in the United States, and the oldest in Pennsylvania. The school operated independently until 2000, when it merged with the Pennsylvania State University, and since 2005 the school has operated in dual locations, in Carlisle and University Park.

And more to come in 2014!

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Collections Available for Research!

The collections below represent new collections or collections with newly updated finding aids --

-Anne Dummett Papers (RBM 9466)  Ann Dummett (1930-2012) was a British campaigner for racial justice and an expert on immigration and nationality law. This collection consists of research notes; drafts of books and articles; documents from organizations dealing with issues of race, immigration, and nationality; copies of British government acts related to these topics; correspondence; periodicals; and books.

-Michael Dummett Papers (RBM 9526) - Michael Dummett was an advocate for racial justice, and worked extensively on issues of immigration. This collection includes materials related to the 1956 Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott and race and immigration in the United Kingdom.

-Robert P. Casey Papers (HCLA 1467) - Robert Patrick Casey, Sr. (1932-2000) served as 42nd Governor of Pennsylvania from January 1987 to January 1995, previously having served as Pennsylvania State Senator (1963-1968) and Auditor General (1969-1977). The Robert P. Casey papers document Governor Casey's administration through issue papers, daily schedules, budget proposals, speeches, newspaper clippings, press releases, artifacts, and audio-visual materials.

-Pennsylvania State University, Graduate School Records (PSUA 402) - The first graduate students at the Farmer's High School earned their degrees in 1863; the Graduate School was established in 1922. This collection of records from the Graduate School documents the School's students, faculty, and personnel.

-HUB-Robeson Galleries Records (PSUA-457) - This collection documents the history of exhibitions at the HUB Robeson Galleries through extensive artist files and contracts, correspondence, publicity and gallery management materials, as well as scrapbooks.

-Swigart-Shedd family collection on Pennsylvania iron furnaces (HCLA 6093)- This collection concerning iron furnaces primarily in the Juniata River valley of Pennsylvania. Materials include labeled photographs, National Register of Historic Places site inventory forms, papers, articles, and research files. The materials were compiled by Nancy Shedd, her father John Swigart, and her grandfather W. Emmert Swigart.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Archive Adventures: Celebrate!

October is my favorite month for a variety of reasons: the crisp air and vibrant costumes of the trees, the way the sun slants across the Valley just before dusk, and Halloween. Add this to a certain celebration across America this month and it's a bit like opening my Christmas gift a couple months early!

From basic "What is an archive?" lessons to in-depth lectures on records managements, we take this time to say it loud and proud to the public..."Archivists make it last longer!" It's all about making the artifacts and records we hold more visible, more accessible, and safeguarded for future generations. And we're not just talking to the public about it! The celebration is also dedicated to collaboration between archives, sharing information to help each other provide better services and practices. Though it's already the end of the month, archives are always around so it's basically a year-long thing!

This year, Pennsylvania is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, making it the focus for our state's Archives Month.  Though it was in its infancy at the beginning of the war, Penn State has a great collection of Civil War papers from around the state. The James C. Stevenson papers provide unparalleled documentation in the form of diaries kept during his four years of service. He talks about everything from his fellow soldiers' experiences to life after the war. And if you are a photo hound, you'll get plenty of pictures of his regiment, the (PA 100th Volunteer Infantry) Roundheads!

We also have Asa Martin's (founder of the Pennsylvania Historical Society) collection, which includes letters from the time of the Civil War, land records, and documents from the early-mid 19th century. You'll have to come in to find more on the Civil War and explore the archives a bit. It's scary (good)  how much you can find!

From all of us in Special Collections (dressed up as our Records Management mascot REMSBY), Happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Conversation with Owen William of the Folger Shakespeare Library

Monday, October 7, 2013
4:00 p.m. Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library

Owen Williams, the Folger Institute’s Assistant Director for Scholarly Programs, will talk about the research and educational opportunities at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. He will focus on participation in Institute seminars, conferences, and workshops. He will also be happy to discuss fellowships and other funding opportunities, the Folger collections, and Folger-based digital resources and digital humanities initiatives.   

Penn State is a member of the Folger Institute’s Consortium, a group of forty-four universities here and abroad that plans an annual slate of advanced scholarly programs. Our membership gives Penn State faculty and graduate students priority in admission and eligibility for grants-in-aid to fund travel and lodging. These programs regularly include a variety of topical seminars, conferences, workshops, and symposia in addition to paleography training, dissertation seminars, and M.A.-level research methods courses. Recent offerings have included a three-week institute on “Early Modern Digital Agendas” supported by the NEH Office of Digital Humanities, a workshop on teaching the History of the Book, and a faculty weekend seminar on orality and literacy. 

This spring, upcoming programs include a two-day faculty seminar on “Rogues, Gypsies, and Outsiders: The Marginal People of Early Modern England” (directed by David Cressy); a one-day symposium on “Borders and Boundaries in Early Modern Jewish History”; “Shakespeare and the Problem of Biography,” a major conference sponsored by an NEH Collaborative Research grant; and a month-long Mellon Summer Institute on English Paleography.  

Like the Folger collection itself, the reach of the Folger programming is broad, and offerings include transatlantic and global topics as well as British literature and history. They engage scholars in a variety of fields, including European history, Asian studies, library sciences, continental literatures, theater history, and early American studies. 

The Folger also sponsors short-term and long-term research fellowships, which several Penn State faculty members have enjoyed. 

This talk is sponsored by the University Libraries, The Committee for Early Modern Studies, and the Material Text Workshop. For more information, please contact Marcy North mln14@psu.edu

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What's the Buzz?

The fall semester has officially begun and we're busy as bees in the department. What's bugging me, though, is that with this semester's new swarm (Just kidding, I love you guys!!) I haven't had the time to sit down and write some posts. Well, I heard about something from one of my colleagues that is just the bees knees and figured, "Sweet! I've got to put this in."

Our own James Frazier, an entomologist here at PSU, is in the article that's all about the "Plight of the Bees" in the face of recent Colony Collapse Disorder. And I know that I'm on here making puns, but it's a pretty big deal. When our fuzzy friends vanish, so does our pollination...which means adios agriculture.

Being an agricultural school at heart, PSU obviously got on the apiary trail. One of those amazing trailblazers was Jonathan W. White, Jr., who had a 60-year career with honey and bees. And we have his papers, which means a sweet deal for you. I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of bugs, but when you get down to it bees are fascinating. They talk through dance, only produce 1/12th a teaspoon of honey in their entire lives, and are crucial for many crops across the world. According to one of our former employees, they even have kind of their own personalities hive-wise. We really miss her bee stories, but hope she was able to get new hives at new location down south!

If bees are your thing, come on in! We have more resources from the Department of Entomology, and you might even find in the course of your research that there's more to bees than just the buzz.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Visiting Scholar Talk, August 13

Please join us in the Mann Assembly Room on Tuesday, August 13th at 4:00 pm to hear Carly Woods talk about her research project project, Women Debating Society: Gender, Citizenship, and Social Change in Debating Societies, 1840-1960. Woods is a professor of Communication Studies and Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and will be consulting the records of the Penn State Debate Team among other sources. 

Prof. Woods is the second of two researchers this summer supported by the The Helen F. Faust Women Writers Research Travel Award.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Eugene Wettstone (July 15, 1913- July 30, 2013)

We recently received news that saddened all of our hearts here in Special Collections. On Tuesday, Gene Wettstone passed away at the age of 100. However, today we'd like to celebrate his life--from his career at Penn State to his relationship to the archives--by highlighting just a few of his many accomplishments.

Known as “Mr. Gymnastics”, Eugene “Gene” Wettstone wasn’t content to be one of the most outstanding and successful collegiate coaches in any sport. Besides his career in coaching, he was also a gardener and a beekeeper, and spent his leisure (or slightly less busy) time making his own cider and restoring antiques he collected.  In addition to all of this, he organized an annual campus circus, where gymnasts and coeds dressed as clowns and did acrobatics, tumbling and high-trapeze acts, and in State College he helped develop athletic programs for local high schools.

Gene was born in 1913 in West New York, N.J. and first took up gymnastics at the age of 10. He excelled as a gymnast at Emerson High School, in Union City, N.J., then took his talents to the University of Iowa, where he had an uncle who coached the gymnastics team. He continued to excel, capturing the Big Ten all-around award twice. He was nearly unbeatable on the side horse and the horizontal bar.

In 1938, Gene was hired as the gymnastics coach at Penn State. His last year was 1976, and he went out with his 9th National Title. During that span, his gymnasts were responsible for dozens of individual titles. Three of his gymnasts have won the highest honor given to the top male gymnast in the country, the Nissen-Emery Award. Thirteen of his gymnasts competed in the Olympics. Gene also participated in 5 Olympic Games: twice as coach, twice as a judge, and once as a manager.
Beginning in 1954, Gene was responsible for organizing international meets at Rec Hall. Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Bulgaria, Finland, Scandinavia, the USSR, and the University of Cologne, have all competed on campus, in a show of good sportsmanship and unity between nations.

We are grateful for the time we had with Gene and his contributions towards making an outstanding collection in our archive, which includes photographs, correspondence and records, video, and memorabilia. 

Paul Karwacki and Alex Bainbridge
Penn State University Archives
Special Collections

Travel Awards Winners to Speak on August 7

Come hear Faust Travel Award Winner, Emily Van Dette, and Huck Travel Award Winner, Kristine Thompson, talk about their research projects in the Mann Assembly Room on Wednesday, August 7th, at 1:00 P.M.

Emily Van Dette will be talking about her research project, "Six Scribbling Women and the Politics of Literary Reputation." Prof. Van Dette received her Ph.D from Penn State and presently is on the faculty at the State University of New York at Fredonia.  She will be using the Fred Lewis Pattee papers as well as other related collections from the Special Collections Library.

Prof. Kristine Thompson of Louisiana State University is researching photographic representations of death and mourning, from the 19th century to the present day. She is using the Jay Ruby Collection and other related materials from our collections.

Light refreshments (lemonade and cookies) will be served -- please come!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

William W. Scranton (July 19, 1917 – July 28, 2013)

This past Sunday we were notified of the passing of former Pennsylvania Governor William W. Scranton.  Our thoughts and condolences go out to his surviving wife Mary and the Scranton family.
Described as a” Kennedy Republican,” Bill Scranton blended fiscal conservatism with a moderate political and social agenda to forge a successful campaign leading to the governorship of Pennsylvania in 1963. But his moderation conflicted with the growing conservatism of the Republican Party as the 1960s wore on. In 1964 Scranton challenged conservative stalwart Senator Barry Goldwater in the Republican presidential primary and lost. Following one term (1963-1967) as governor, Scranton eschewed politics but embraced the role of statesman. In doing so he provided exemplary service to the commonwealth and nation. He served on key governmental commissions (including the President’s Commission on Campus Unrest in the wake of the Kent State campus shootings), was Ambassador to the United Nations (1976), headed a diplomatic mission to the Middle East, and advised several presidents on intelligence matters, strategic arms control and Soviet-American Relations. 

In 1979, Governor Scranton gifted his personal papers to the Pennsylvania State University Libraries. and with his wife established a Libraries endowment fund to support the development of the  Scranton Papers--formally opened in 1993 and housed within the Special Collections' Historical Collection and Labor Archives. Subsequent additions by the Scranton Family over several decades have resulted in building a nationally significant research collection of over 175 linear feet of records, correspondence, and photographs documenting Scranton’s life and public service. In 2004 the critically praised WVIA-PBS film documentary, William Warren Scranton: In a Clear Light, premiered and relied heavily upon the Scranton Papers for primary source material during production.

Over the last decade Governor Scranton was still highly engaged with his archives. He was especially interested in gauging how his papers were being used for research and incorporated in class instruction. Bill Scranton embodied the best virtues of a public servant and statesman and will be sorely missed. His was a life well-lived and his legacy and papers provide valuable lessons for aspiring public servants. 

Jim Quigel
Head of Historical Collections and Labor Archives
Special Collections

Friday, July 26, 2013

Archive Adventures: Sneak Peeks and Hidden Gems

Things are really flying by here at Special Collections, and I'm here to (finally) report for blogger duty! The summer is almost over and here in the archives we are prepping for busy season. As we approach the end of our wildly popular Plant Pathology exhibit and campus plant tours, we're powering up our thinking caps for the new exhibits you won't want to miss: Judy Chicago (spring 2014), PSU history (fall 2013), and PSU sports history (Oct. 13th)...so keep your ears and eyes open, folks. We're rolling out a spectacular program for '13-'14!

One project we've been feverishly working away at is the fall exhibit for Hintz, called "When I was at Penn State..." that focuses on student traditions and common experiences at the Penn State. Snuffling around the archive for our topics gave me the chance to team up with fellow archivist Paul Karwacki in search of the most interesting Lion's Coats we could find. Little did I know that it would provide a bounty of hidden surprises that just kept coming viewing after viewing. We both had a fun time with the photoshoot picking out things we had missed previously, and I decided I wanted to share a sneak peek with all of you of one particular poster for the exhibit.

One example of a lion drawn on many of the jackets.

Lion's Coats were part of a pre-WWII tradition called "Moving Up," when underclassmen would finally reach the rank of senior and celebrate the promotion. Because back in those days...reaching senior-hood was more than just getting good grades and registering. It was a big achievement that came after years of jumping through wacky rules and traditions hoops, celebrated by showing the newbies how they, too, could one day rub the future underclassmen's faces in it and proclaim how awesome it was to finally be the senior ringmaster.

The Lion's Coat facet of this tradition started in 1926 and involved decorating muslin jackets with drawings, school symbols, patches, and autographs in competition for the best decorated. Many times the themes revolved around fraternities, but other times they focused on their majors or the students' social groups.

A chem nerd! Igne natura renovatur integra!

No matter what, though, the result was a piece of unique wearable art. Each coat was personalized to the student who owned it and reflected individual personalities. Some are self-deprecating (such as the one immediately below), others were serious statements of "allegiances," and  many were records of  the who, what, where, when, and how. It was essentially the clothing-equivalent of an autograph book or senior yearbook today! So-- as you can imagine-- they were very dear to the owner's heart and became a mantle of nostalgia carried on after graduation.

One of my personal favorites....

Anybody brave enough to get a tattoo of this charming pin-up girl?

This jacket is in rough shape, but it just means it got a lot of love (apparent in the little lipstick kiss by "Loraine"!) when it was still being worn.

There's so many details and intriguing hints about college life in the early 20th century on these Coats that it's hard to capture everything. Names, dates, inside jokes...social commentary abounds! But I thought you might enjoy a little peek at one of the many traditions we'll be displaying this fall in the exhibit. You'll have to visit in person to see the other wonderful photos we will have of the Lion's Coats, from top to bottom and with even more details!

And if you go see it, I'm sure you'll find yourself saying, "Wow, that's incredible! They did that? When I was at Penn State..."

Til next time, fellow adventurers....Archivist Alex signing out!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Archive Adventures: (Red) White and Blue

I know, I know. You're sitting there saying, "Hey, what happened to the April post, Alex?" Well, folks, things got a little crazy in April so I decided to postpone until May. Sorry! Originally my idea was to follow an "April Showers Bring May Flowers" theme, but while looking for some background on a photo request I found some extraordinary pictures that caught my eye. And just like that, the post idea changed.

Today, I'd like to salute the men and women of the armed services. PSU has a long and distinguished relationship with the military since its inception. As part of the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862, participating universities received federal lands in return for military training sponsored by the institution. One of things that I really enjoyed while researching this was that we have pictures almost all the way back to the beginning as well as great collections from all the armed services. Let's jump into the photos!

This awesome photo has a title on the back of "Uniforms worn by PSC (Penn State College) Cadets in the '70s." I'm gonna take a guess and say we're talking about the 1870s.

Part of the 1894 Annual Review. This photo of the artillery was taken in the Amory building (we still have the windows in storage!). Along the back wall, you can see dumbbells and barbells, which were used to strengthen muscles in preparation for dragging those heavy cannons around the field.
Whatcha thinkin' 'bout? Oh nothing, just drill!

A 1904 shot of the Ambulance Corps.
Drilling with the artillery at an undated Annual Review. Can you imagine the legal nightmare today if we tried something like this?
May Day 1920, and in the background are the grandstands of the New Beaver Field (built in 1909 and located near where the Nittany Parking Deck now stands).
An undated photo of an Annual Review drill out on the lawn. In the background is the original Old Main and the Armory building, which dates this photo somewhere between 1892-1929.

Midshipmen for the Navy ROTC learn the details of radar operation set in simulated anti-submarine warfare in 1955.
Three Navy ROTC students practice maneuvers. From left to right: Mario S. Valentini, Robert E. Solomon, and William E. Thomas. After finishing their degree and ROTC training, they became 2nd lieutenants in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Up until World War I, training comprised mostly of non-credited drill classes and occasional lectures on military tactics. It wasn't until 1916 that an ROTC unit was created on campus and a more thorough military curriculum was established. Of course, during WWII many undergrads left to fight or were drafted, but it was still a very busy time for the university. Classes focusing on defense fields, engineering, and aeronautics were offered to students who were finishing their degrees before shipping out or to civilians. In 1960, the Nittany Lion Battalion moved into the newly built Wagner building, and by 1964 the University Senate decided to nix mandatory military training for the students and make it elective.

No matter what era you're interested in, we've probably got something up your alley. For the Civil War folk, the James A. Beaver papers and a whole bunch of Civil War diaries will keep you coming back for quite some time. We also recommend that you visit the Richards Civil War Era Center, especially their webpage if you can't visit campus in person. It's a great place to meet up with fellow buffs and a lot of material has been digitized thanks to them!

Probably the best researched and documented wars were the two World Wars of the 20th century. How did PSU respond to the wars, considering its main demographic was enlisting and being drafted? What did survivors bring home? There are a lot more questions, and if you're thinking of asking some more...don't hesitate to march in on the double and get some answers from us!

Thank you to all the men and women who serve our country, in uniform and out of uniform. We at Special Collections hope that we can continue to serve you by preserving the history and memories for today's patrons and tomorrow's generations. Happy Memorial Day from all of us in the archives!

Monday, May 6, 2013

PSU Library's Role in THON

Penn State student Andrea Karelitz and Special Collections staff member Paul Dzyak highlight the role of Special Collections in THON preparations.

Monday, April 29, 2013

PSU Distinguished Alumna gives 2013 MARAC Plenary Session Address

Joan Chittister, O.S.B.

Joan Chittister

I’m reminded of a story about speaking in your own hometown: A man was asked by his hometown historical society to speak at their next meeting. When he arrived the only ones there were the board members and a couple of old geezers in the back. “Did you tell them I was coming?” he asked them. “No, I guess we really didn’t,” the chair answered “but it sure looks like the word seeped out.”

And from the philosopher Boethius: “Every age is a dream that is dying and a new age coming to life.”

From the paleontologist Chardin: “The only task worthy of our efforts is to construct the future.”

And from the Zen: “The meaning of life is to see.”

I have spent a great deal of time thinking about this conference and this presentation for two reasons. The first is a simple one: if there were ever a place where I would not expect to be invited, this would certainly seem to be it. I would certainly understand
an invitation to colleges and civic social groups, to spirituality centers and ecumenical programs, yes. But at a conference of archivists? Trust me: until now, at least, the chances were slim to non-existent

And yet, the second reason I’ve thought so much about today’s presentation is equally simple: if there were ever a group I identify with--as well as with writers and speakers,
with educators and researchers, with historians and theologians, archivists are definitely it.

What that means is that I could not be further away than I am from the life of an  archivist. But it also means that as a woman, as a writer, as a social scientist I realize my indebtedness to you and to your profession.

I value your work and I respect your dedication to it. In fact, I think the values and sensitivity with which archivists approach the development of public archives may actually be what is missing in much of public life today. Which is why I want to talk today about what it means to choose a profession, to make a career a vocation, to decide between making a salary and making a difference,