Posts filed under ‘archives’
The Internet Archive, home of the Wayback Machine and an enormous public-domain digital book collection, is housed in an old church in San Francisco. The pews of the church sanctuary are filled with papier-mâché representations of the employees! I haven’t been able to find out who made these or how it all came together or whether it’s a temporary thing — if you know anything about it, please comment. Thanks, Carol Dickerson!
This is a non-cute shenanigan. From the press release: “Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero announced today that Thomas Lowry, a long-time Lincoln researcher from Woodbridge, VA, confessed on January 12, 2011, to altering an Abraham Lincoln Presidential pardon that is part of the permanent records of the U.S. National Archives. The pardon was for Patrick Murphy, a Civil War soldier in the Union Army who was court-martialed for desertion. Lowry admitted to changing the date of Murphy’s pardon, written in Lincoln’s hand, from April 14, 1864, to April 14, 1865, the day John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. Having changed the year from 1864 to 1865, Lowry was then able to claim that this pardon was of significant historical relevance because it could be considered one of, if not the final official act by President Lincoln before his assassination.”
My researchers sometimes wonder why we don’t like to have pens in the reading room. Now you know one reason. (There’s also the problem of pen explosions.) Thanks, Leah Davis Witherow!
So glad someone has gathered together these heroic librarians from books, TV, and film. In particular I call your attention to the bookaneers in China Mieville’s excellent novel Un Lun Dun. About time somebody wrote a novel where a prophecy is a crock. Thanks, io9!
Archie Archives of the Regional History Center at Northern Illinois University dances at a Welcome Days event for first year students. Archie, your bright red bow tie is evocative of nerdiness and Chippendales at the same time, and goes very well with your flip flops … well done all around. And it seems the students like you. Thanks, Lynne Thomas!
A 2008 commercial spawns an XKCD comic, which spawns a video, which spawns a Derangement and Description comic, which spawns a video at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. And every single thing in this chain is awesome (though only the last two are library shenanigans). Thanks, Lynne Thomas!
In spring 2010, a Colorado College art class met in the library to discuss incongruity. In advance of the class session, the professors (with the help of library staff) placed a drum set into the Special Collections archives area. The class then met outside the cage and discussed the jarring effects of the incongruity (or something like that — I wasn’t actually there). Thanks, Steve Lawson and Amy Brooks!
Jon Stewart made fun of the idea of the master’s degree in archives management on The Daily Show on November 11, 2009. David Kay, M.L.S., responded with a song to the tune of Monty Python’s “Lumberjack Song.” I like the line “It might seem very funny that we’re a professional trade, ha ha!” The full lyrics appear in The Metropolitan Archivist, Vol. 16, No. 2, Summer 2010. Thanks, David Kay.
Addition: singalong version at youtube.
UPDATE July 2012: WoodyGuth3′s “The Ballad of David Kay, MLS” describes another shenanigan perpetrated by the same guy: “Based on a true story from an ALA-accredited library school. At the time, David Kay, MLS was president of the Queens College Library and Information Studies Student Association (qcLISSA) and helped lead a student protest with direct action against the University’s OCT (Office of Converging Technologies) when library proxies were broken and students were unable to do their homework and access library materials remotely and offsite. Forty-eight hours later, after leading seven students to confront the Director of OCT in his office, the broken proxy service was replaced, and word quickly spread that “qcLISSA fought the OCT and the OCT finally lost!” Students even celebrated with cake and punch! Recorded by WoodyGuth3 in May 2012 for Brooklyn Blowback TV.” Thanks, David Kay!