Another Century Turns Two!

I can’t believe this blog is two years old! It really doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, but my first post was published on this day in 2016. I started writing about nine months after I got my Masters degrees in history and library science from the U. of Maryland. Once I had entered the real world and was working a 9 to 5 job, I realized that I missed doing research and writing about history. At the same time, my tenure in graduate school was marked by a hundred books that I never had time to finish and a thousand more ideas that I thought would make a good paper one day. My first post, “Are you a Cowboy or a Colonel?” was actually an extended review of a book I stumbled upon one day in school and never got a chance to read until after I graduated. If you haven’t read that post, it’s a fun one that you can find here.

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Last year I conducted a records inventory in an abandoned patient ward in a Philadelphia mental hospital. There was no power and broken windows made for a dark and drafty job.

When I started this blog, I was a few months out of school, recently married, and just starting my career. At the time I was a lowly contract processing archivist at the Smithsonian National Anthropology Archives. A few months later I got a job offer at the Pennsylvania State Archives and Andra and I moved up to Harrisburg. I’m working in acquisitions section, traveling around to different government offices and institutions to look for their historical records. I’ve gotten to dig documents out of squirrel infested attics and moldy basements that were just as creepy as you might imagine. My job takes me to places like prisons, fish hatcheries and executive offices; anywhere historical records are to be found I go and check them out!

Being at the PA State Archives has also had an impact on this blog. You may have noticed that there are a decent number of posts I’ve done on topics from Pennsylvania history. This seems pretty natural since I sift through the state’s history 8 hours a day. I have also gotten into more posts that touch on my own family history. A lot of genealogists  visit our archives and I guess I got hooked too! It has been fun finding my own family’s connections to interesting historical events, especially in the travel adventures of Frank and Nell Felter and in the tragic death of Albert Sergeant at Dimmock Hill. I’m still working on several more posts like these so check back soon for those.

I started this blog just as a personal exercise in research and writing, and as a way to keep a running list of historical books I’d like to read one day. I’m pretty happy with how it’s turned out so far, and am excited to see what happens in the next two years. Thanks for reading!

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