Women and the Presidency

[Portrait of Abigail Adams by Benjamin Blyth], Library of Congress

[Portrait of Abigail Adams by Benjamin Blyth], Library of Congress

I’ve enjoyed listening to the Presidential Podcast from the Washington Post over the past few months. Each episode is about a different U.S. President, and the experience has been enlightening. It’s easy to forget that these historical figures are more than just a name we try to memorize and only associate with one or two events or policies from their administrations. They each had complicated stories, and in some cases they’ve been misunderstood. Continue reading

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Summer Olympic Dreams

Proposed Olympic Stadium. Image from the Detroit Historical Society.

We are in the midst of the Olympic games, which always make me think of what a Detroit-hosted Olympics would look like. Could we do it? What venues would host the different events? Would it be contained in the city, or would some events be in the suburbs? Would we be best suited for the summer or winter games?   Continue reading

Processing archives

You may know what archives are and what an archivist is, in an abstract sense. But what are they, exactly? Archives can exist in a business, organization, nonprofit, federal, state, or municipal government, a university, historical society, museum, or for just a single individual. Archives contain the documents created by and relating to these entities which have enduring value. They can be used by researchers in creating histories, genealogists documenting their family trees, people needing practical information such as where exactly their property line is, are they entitled to certain benefits, the location of miners trapped in a collapsed tunnel, or an understanding of our present with that ever important connection to the past. Continue reading

#lismentalhealth

This is LIS Mental Health Week. For those not in the library/archives profession, LIS = Library and Information Science. It is the name of the most common masters degree required for (more or less) gainful employment in the field.

I hesitated to jump in the conversation with my personal story because I’ve considered the depression and anxiety I’ve experienced to be mild. I have not suffered nearly as much as many people I know (in real life or the internet). However, it has impacted my professional life, and I decided it is probably better to have more voices and perspectives out there. I will share what has helped me, though my advice for anyone experiencing mild depression is not new or novel. But I know from experience that you can hear advice multiple times before it actually hits. Sometimes you have to be in the right place in order to really take something to heart. So maybe someone will find it useful. Continue reading

Spirit Photography

from Chronicles Of The Photographs Of Spiritual Beings

Spirit photographs from Chronicles Of The Photographs Of Spiritual Beings

In her preface to Chronicles Of The Photographs Of Spiritual Beings, Georgiana Houghton refers to the photographs she collected thusly, “I send them forth in full assurance that they carry a weight of evidence as to the substantiality of spirit beings far transcending any other form of mediumship.” The year was 1881, and Spiritualism was reaching its peak. Continue reading