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Monday, March 30, 2015

Shelving

Last week at work was filled with long and tiring meetings. Three, to be exact. We also got to listen to a lecture on ergonomics, which was interesting. We were told how we are supposed to sit at our desks so that we don't get health problems. The physiotherapist also explained how to lift things correctly. When she said that you shouldn't lift anyting higher than your shoulders, the staff in the stacks smiled and wondered what reality she lived in. Our book cases are up to four meters high. Even with a ladder you have to stretch pretty much to retrieve the books on the highest shelf.

Speaking of high book cases, today we had an entire day of shelving at the storage. Other people retrieved books at the main library. I don't know how that went, but no one called me, so I think they found everything. We were six people at the storage and we worked hard to get the books back on the shelves. The backlog was very large. We were not able to shelve all of them, but the situation is better. I also introduced the new employee to the work routines at the storage.

Over the weekend I made a trip north by train to a small town named Ängelholm. There are some nice shops, but this time I didn't get anything. I continued on by bus to my favorite mall, where I got a top on sale. Sunday was rather slow, but I did get started on a project for work. Later in June I will arrange a workshop for my colleagues, so I have searched for information to include.

This upcoming weekend is Easter and I will spend it at the summerhouse with my mother and some of her friends.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Archive Center study visit

I was at home Mon-Wed last week due to illness. Thursday my computer was going to be exchanged, so I had to go to work for about half a day. I didn't have to retrieve any books, but did some emailing and other minor tasks. The workload the past few weeks has been moderate. We are happy about the new employee, she is keeping the volumes of returned books down and she is even asking for more work(!). Over the weekend our library system was upgraded and it went surprisingly well. It meant that we didn't have that many requests to deal with today, since it had been shut down.

This afternoon the social club arranged a study visit to the Archive Center, where our big storage is located. We had the university archivist give us an introduction and it was very interesting to see their material. Apart from university administration documents they have ledgers of the students and teachers from the 1660s and on, with their written essays and other papers, admission documents, manuscripts from lectures and much else. He gave us a tour of their stacks, which is in the same part as  we have our older stacks. Afterwards we all went over to our new facility in the same building, where we keep about 35 000 shelf meters of books. Everybody was impressed. It was a very nice visit, even though my nearest colleagues who go there every day to retrieve books, couldn't imagine that anyone else would like to see the place. But I had heard so many questions about our new storage so I thought there would be interest, and I was right.

There isn't much research to do right now, I have exhausted the possibilities. I think I will have to go to another archive later and then I have to wait for the material about Arndt's boss to be dug up this summer. It meant that I spent this weekend away from work. Saturday I went to a total of four second hand stores and two malls in the Malmö area. It resulted in a top and a summerdress. Sunday I vacuumed and brought the coats back to the attic. It's going towards spring weather here quite rapidly so I have stored the thick winter clothes. It never was much of a winter here in the south.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Visit to mall

Things are pretty miserable here. I have a bad cold and had to stay at home from work. I have noticed that I get sick more days than a few years ago. I assume it's a sign of old age... I sit on the couch and do nothing. My brain isn't working properly. The flu has taken out some of my colleagues, but I'm not sure that's what I have.

Last week some minor things happened. I got a much needed hair-cut. My boss gave me more responsibility and invited me to a meeting about this issue in April. I actually didn't spend the weekend at work, instead I tried to tidy up in my apartment Saturday and went to my favorite mall on Sunday. I haven't been shopping for quite some time, so I made some purchases now; three tops and some small things. Later in the evening I noticed that I was getting sick. It's really not pleasant.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lots of statistics

Not much is going on here, apart from work and research. The only thing out of the ordinary happened last week when the bus driver took a wrong turn and I ended up at another bus stop than the intended one in Lund. 

At the library these days are filled with work on statistics. We have to hand in quite detailed statistical information to the Royal Library every year and it's a long and complicated process. This year they changed the form completely and gave us one month shorter time to answer. There are things we sometimes would like to say about the Royal Library which is not suitable for any kind of quotation. I'm not responsible for handing it in for my department, but I have attended several meetings about the matter and I have to count the books and/or the shelf space. It's basically the same problem every year - we don't know exactly how many books we have...

This week I went to the chiropractor to get treatment and the first thing he said was: So, you have started working again, haven't you? My back problems are very much associated with my work and he hadn't seen me in over six months since I was on leave most of last Fall.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Arndt on film

I can't believe the material I get about Arndt from the grandchild of his boss! She has sent photos from the 1930s when Arndt visited their newly built summerhouse. There is also an amateur film from the same era, where Arndt is standing outside a car and greeting his boss. Very short sequence, but just incredible to see. I cannot thank this woman enough for helping me find information about Arndt. She said much of the correspondence is kept at another place and she will not be able to get to it until summer, but she has already found such interesting things. She is also doing some research in her family, and I will assist her with details I can get through the databases at work. It's the least I can do in return for all these images of Arndt. We have also discovered that my grandmother was the witness (godmother) at the christening of the grandchild's uncle!

19 days in a row at work was enough, so Sunday I stayed at home and did very little. These past few weeks have been very tough to get through. Last week I had three meetings and tried to attend the internal desk in the stacks at the same time. Today I had two meetings and desk duty. Recently I have also moved two collections to the remote storage, reviewed half of the books on medicine (many of them are misplaced) and tried to keep up with the incoming e-mails. We currently have two scholars ordering large amounts of books; one is interested in just about every book about labor unions we have (and he has requested thousands of them) and one other is researching Swedish hymns and have requested many hymnal books (but not thousands yet). One positive thing is the fact that we got a new colleague today. We hope she will help us with the backlogs - the number of books that need to be shelved is reaching historic amounts.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Not a good Friday

There really isn't much to report from here. I spend every day at work to either work or do research. I got a research request from my mother's friend, so I'm busy with that too. It's the usual mix with early deaths among the children and ordinary farm life in a rural setting. There were a few emigrants also, they settled in the Boston area. I'm glad there are pretty good vital records for Massachusetts. Most of these emigrants were women and that's always a challenge to find them after they get married. I did locate them and their families.

I got a temporary book case in my new office now. We are supposed to get new furniture in April, but I couldn't wait that long. I asked the janitor to install my old book case, and he did. I have now unpacked all the office materials.

Last week was not a good one. Several people were absent and it was noticeable. Friday was especially bad. It was a day filled with mistakes, both mine and other's. I had promised a scholar that I would bring a box of books from a special collection to the reading room by 10 AM Friday. Naturally, I forgot it. I had to drive the storage round very early and made a colleague go with me, in order to retrieve those books. It was rather stressful. Later I found out that the scholar hadn't been there.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Research weekend

Last week it was work during the weekdays and research over the weekend - in the same place. I'm very privileged to have easy access to all those books and newspapers. This Saturday there were four other colleagues at work too, so I'm not the only one using the facilities for private reasons.

I have located a grandchild of one of Arndt's co-workers (his boss, actually). It was basically the last straw, since there is information lacking about Arndt's work, especially in the 1920s. She answered back and said that she has a lot of material about her grandfather's job, both letters and photos. I didn't think there would be, since her grandfather died rather early, in the 1940s. She would dig into it and I hope that Arndt will be mentioned in this material. It's very far-fetched, but you never know.

This last thing reminded me of the times when I started doing family history research 25 years ago. Back then you wrote a letter (by hand) to someone and it could take weeks or months before an answer came (if it did at all). Now I found this woman's e-mail address in less than 20 seconds and I got a reply the next morning. Correspondence is definitely easier and faster these days.

It's not much of a winter here in the south. It's just above freezing temperature, with occasional rain showers and high winds. Rather boring.