Day 9: Reference

I’d like to point out that the featured photograph above is a shot of my favorite tool: Katie’s microspatula. It is just the right weight and thickness. It’s not too pointy or flimsy, but has just the right amount of stiffness. It can do 93 different things. Katie Smith, in three weeks, something from your workstation just might go missing. All I’m saying is, I’m just saying.

Yesterday afternoon, more crates of framed 19th century newspaper prints arrived, so I spent some time working on them. Here was today’s favorite. Click on the image to make it full size.

Frank Leslie illustration

We laughed our heads off at this one. "There were present only the immediate family of the bride and groom."


I finished up the research for a patron request and typed up my response as best as I could. It was a huge question that three librarians had to contribute to. I attended a roundtable discussion with Vanderbilt professor Kathleen Flake who specializes in American Religions. It was very interesting and Brittany, my mentor, was in heaven. I spent about an hour working the reference desk and then about 1.5 hours assisting Jaron, the digitization specialist, with an inventory of the hardcopy registers and indicies. We were sitting right…..here.

Oen stacks

This is the open stacks area in the reference room. The registers are on the backside of this low shelf.


I also helped Brittany do some fact checking so she can edit the next volume in the Women of Faith in the Latter Days series. I used microfilm of 19th century minutes taken in Arizona as well as a diary from the same era. Kind of cool.

I wanted to share a little bit more about the CHL building. On each floor, along the L-shaped corridor, there is a handwashing station. A large portion of requests for archival materials are made by the staff, who are allowed to view things at their desks. So, everybody needs to have clean hands. Also, no food is allowed anywhere in the building except in the 4th floor breakroom. No food means cleaner hands, no spills, and no bugs!

Handwashing station

Hallway handwashing station.


After work, I went to the Church History Library’s monthly lecture. This year’s theme is “Men and Women of Faith” and tonight’s topic was “The Untold Story of Mormon Pioneers with Disabilities.” The archives invites a speaker who has a specific expertise and then provides him/her with research support from the archives staff. It is a great outreach opportunity all around. The lecture was across the street in the Church Office Building’s auditorium.

Church Office Building

View from my building: the auditorium is housed in the wing on the far left of the picture. Bruce Fifield did an excellent job.


Lecture Series

Bruce Fifield delivering a presentation on Pioneers with disabilities.

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2 Responses to Day 9: Reference

  1. Christopher McAfee says:

    This particular micro spatula has a teflon coating. When we’re not using it for conservation, we use it to make tiny pancakes.

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