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Monday, March 19, 2018


I continued to be a patron for a few hours last week and had another go at the hard-to read letters. Thanks to two other colleagues we cracked some of it. I especially wanted a letter mentioning an old  manuscript deciphered and we managed that.

The week at work was as busy as ever. I had desk duty two days. The usual meetings are unavoidable, of course.

This Saturday my father and his girlfriend came to visit with the motor home. This was because I wanted to buy some pieces of furniture. I got a head board for my bed at one place and then we drove towards Malmö. There was a long wait on the freeway because there had been an accident but we made it to Ikea after a while. It was very crowded. We started out by having a very nice lunch. Then we opted for the somewhat shorter round and picked up a few things. I got a bedding set, a large bouquet of tulips and a rectangular footstool in blue color. At my apartment my father helped me with some minor repairs also.

It's still pretty cold here, it was 6 below zero this morning. The wind has calmed down a bit and the sun is shining so it's not that bad.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Praised bookservice

The article I wrote for the local historical society publication gave no response whatsoever but I guess not everyone is as interested in old archive material as I am. I wrote about a newly scanned archive series available online at the Riksarkivet website. I found my great grandfather's farm listed there, it stated how many cows he owned in 1917 and what kind of crops he grew in the fields, among other things.

At work I spend a lot of time weeding the reference collection. The current subject is Geography.

We have received much praise for our bookservice. One patron was just ecstatic about the fact that we were able to locate a unique book for her at the storage. She travelled from Blekinge province for this book and she sent a long thank you-note afterwards. She even sent this note to the newspaper, asking to have it published somehow. It feels rather odd to get such a response for doing one's ordinary job.

Last week I took one afternoon off and became a patron instead. I asked to have a volume from a manuscript archive retrieved. It contained over 300 letters written in the early 19th century by the owner of the Strö manor house to his nephew. There was a valuable book collection placed at Strö manor house 1785-1845 and I want to research this. It turns out that both these people had a handwriting that is extremely challenging to read. The manuscript librarian told me the nephew (who was of noble family) was famous for his illegible handwriting. I have 30 years experience and have to say not much was understandable. The last 20 letters or so were not possible to understand at all, the author was 87 years old by then and the letters were written with bad ink. Still, it was interesting to see the material and I could conclude that they did not discuss book-related issues in these letters.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

More research

Another busy week at work. I had to attend five meetings. I'm trying to learn the new database system we will install in June. The problem is that it is not near finished. Three of the meetings had to do with this new system. It's a pretty big challenge to create a teaching module for a system which is still being developed. We don't really know what the end result will look like. Or even if it will function, for that matter.

This past week there was a big misunderstanding between me and a colleague. She was sick Monday and we decided to switch desk duties so she would take mine on Friday instead. She forgot about it. Incredibly enough, no one noticed until about 1 PM, when the books from the storage round were still on the desk. We both rushed to get the tasks done and I hope the patrons didn't notice any of this. This week there were terrible problems with the trains and roads due to heavy snowfall and very high winds, so the number of patrons was rather low. Personally, I was lucky with the trains but several of my colleagues have been snowed in the entire week. Some people were able to work from their computer at home but not all.

I must have been one of very few people who still had a land-line phone but that is now cancelled. It was my phone company that decided to quit offering this kind of service so I decided it was time to let go. Now I only have the cellphone. It is for work but the subscription means free calls so I'm allowed to use it for private phone calls also.

Recently, I have engaged in quite a lot of research of various kinds. One research request and one article for the local historical society publication were finished a few weeks ago. I'm now gathering material for another (longer) article, relating to a book collection. At the same time I'm working on the bibliography for Norra Strö and have extended the search area to include also the nearby parishes.  It's all incredibly interesting and I wish there was more time for these things.

Monday, February 26, 2018


This past week it was sports break for many people. A few of my colleagues went off somewhere to go skiing or engage in other winter sports. The flu season is even more noticeable now, two people were absent from my department. I unexpectedly got desk duty today because of this. Not what I had planned for.

Last week there were some difficulties with the trains. In fact it was so bad Tuesday evening that I turned around and went back to work to borrow the storage round car overnight. I understood it would take hours to get the trains back in action so I decided it was best. It happens once or twice a year that everything fails like that. I have general permission to borrow the car in those cases. I did of course make use of it and went for groceries on the way home.

The Olympic Games turned out to be the most successful ever for Sweden, with 14 medals in total. One of the more unexpected gold medals was in women's curling. The athletes did very well in biathlon and downhill skiing also.

It's cold here. Down to 10 below zero and winds from the north. At least it's light out when I leave home in the mornings now. The darkest times have passed.

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Since some of my tasks have turned out to be a little too straining it was decided that I no longer have to drive the storage round or do any shelving/retrieving of books. This remarkable decision taken above my head will have a very negative effect on my colleague's work load. Especially since we are one person short already. At the same time they have changed the schedule for desk duty and given the staff in the stacks even more work retrieving also from the open collection. I really think they should have engaged another person first before telling me to stop working with this. Now, there is not a chance that I will be idle since I'm involved in several projects and my to-do list is long.

At the Olympic Games the women are doing very well in skiing competitions. So far there are seven Swedish medals, six of them have been awarded to women. I have been watching quite a lot of it on TV, I especially think biathlon is interesting.

It's not as cold outside anymore but still high winds occasionally. It's flu season and this is noticeable at work. Several people are at home, either because they are sick themselves or have sick kids.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Storage round

It was another tough week at work. This Wednesday I drove the storage round for the first time in almost an entire year. It took a long time and there were problems with the electric compact shelves. There was only one meeting scheduled but it meant that I got more tasks to do. My to-do list is now almost two pages long. I had to go to the chiropractor also. The last treatment was in April. I should go at least once every three months so it was definitely time.

It's relatively cold outside. It has been below zero most days recently. Also windy, which makes the cold effect feel even worse.

The Olympic Games started this weekend. There is one gold medal for Sweden already. A female cross country skier won the first event called skiathlon. Impressive.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Free genealogy database

The big news in the world of genealogy here is the fact that the Swedish National Archive is no longer requiring a fee to view their scanned material. They got extra money for the budget so they don't have to charge people. Both as a librarian and a researcher I am in favor of this development. The databases now available can be used by not only people doing family history research but also scholars of history, geography, demographics, social history and much else. It contains a varied kind of material from about the 15th century and on. The link is: https://sok.riksarkivet.se/digitala-forskarsalen. If you prefer the website in English, chose Other languages in upper part of the page.

At work it was a tough week, both for my brain and my body. I was scheduled to attend five meetings but only made it to four. There just wasn't time for all of them. I have desk duty at the internal desk every Friday starting this past week. It's the desk on which all the problems end up, basically. Books without barcode, call slips not processed, printer failures, questions from staff and patrons, books not catalogued and every possible mishap imaginable. Friday evening I was pretty brain dead, in other words. The woman who was hired to replace me during my illness was not allowed to continue even though we really would have needed her. One person has retired so there should be budget allowance for it. We are not happy about this, as she proved to be very well suited for the job.

Saturday my father came to visit. We had quite a lot to talk about because the local history book was published. He is interested in the history of Norra Strö even though this is not his ancestral home. We did live there for a few years in the 1970s and we do know many people there so there was lots to discuss. We also made a trip to the nearest mall. I handed over even more junk to the charity shop and we did some shopping. I also stocked up on food items.