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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Past week

It's Sunday evening and time to summarize the past week. We were all pretty tired after the festivities on Tuesday, and things at work were slower the last half of the week. They started renovating our lunchroom on Wednesday, so now we have to eat in the conference room instead. On Thursday I had desk duty in the manuscript reading room again, but it wasn't as boring as the previous time, because I had a book to read. It was the book the local authors had published and contained their library-related stories.

The architect I couldn't remember the name of was Alfred Hellerström, and he had designed several buildings for the university.

Yesterday I was at the archive. I assume this wasn't surprising to anyone reading this. It's the place where I spend most of my time, apart from home and work. I tried to get more details about the Önnestad emigrants and also find information on the people Anna Anderson's sister Tina (Albertina) mentioned in her travel diary from her trip to Sweden in 1931. Tina went to Sweden with some friends from church. She visited some relatives in Stockholm, none of whom have living descendants today.

Today was laundry day. I also cooked food to bring for lunch at work next week. Falukorv (type of sausage) and cauliflower casserole with mashed potatoes. Very tasty, if I may say so myself.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

100 year jubilee

The building the library is housed in was built in 1907, and we thought we should celebrate this. There have been a lot of preparations and yesterday the festivities took place. Unfortunately, it rained very much. We had tents out in the park in front of the library, where we served refreshments and snacks. It got to be very wet and muddy. There were (some pretty famous) local authors speaking about their personal experiences from the University Library (if Lorraine reads this, she should know that her cousin Tommy Olofsson - a poet - was one of them). One of the authors had met his wife at our library, another talked about the privilege of getting access to the world's knowledge and yet another was impressed by the actual building (a five storey red brick building by a famous architect I can never remember the name of). There had been several books published, one about the history of the library (naturally), one children's book and one containing the author's speeches. The authors were treated to lunch and the staff got dinner after the event was over in the evening.

I don't think people in general understand how much work there is behind an event like this. Part of the staff had worked like mad to get everything ready in time. The books just barely made it out of the printing press - two of them arrived yesterday (the last one only one hour before the festivities started). Narrow margin. The staff fixing the tents and the sound system got completely soaked and ruined their clothes and shoes in the mud. I had it "easy" because I wasn't involved in this part. But most of my staff was, so I had to do almost all of their regular chores. I'm not really complaining, I think it's great that we managed to do this and it meant that the local newspaper paid some attention to us (they rarely do).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Busy weekend

I'm exhausted. My mother spent the weekend here with me in Kävlinge. We have really worked hard. We spent most of Saturday at Ikea and a fabric store in Malmö. I bought a new armchair, a flower rack and some pots and plants. Today we went about 10 km north from here and shopped extensively at the three flea market stores in Marieholm. We found some great bargains. I found a 78 record with Leroy Anderson's Blue Tango! It must be unusual in Sweden. At the first place we filled a large paper bag with stuff and payed 50 SEK - very cheap. My mother was happy to find a lid to her frying pan. I bought some pieces of fabric and buttons in large boxes.

Apart from shopping, we also cleaned the apartment very thoroughly, planted some flowers, washed and replaced curtains, assembled the armchair and flower rack, put the balcony furniture up in the attic for the winter, re-arranged some decorations and sorted our flea market finds. It has been a really busy weekend.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Desk duty

I have desk duty in the manuscript reading room right now. It's pretty boring. There is only one visitor left, and he manages without my assistance. This reading room has a higher level of security, the visitors aren't allowed to bring coats or personal belongings, and they have to register every time they visit. This is where they study the very old and fragile material, like 16th century atlases, original letters from August Strindberg and other Swedish authors, excerpts from the 2000 year old papyrus collection and handwritten books from many centuries ago. This library has huge resources, and it's really a privilege to work here.

I have made some use of my mother's car this week. Yesterday afternoon I left work early and drove to Malmö. I got to see a lot more of the roads there than I was aiming for. It's unbelievable, but I will never learn how the highways in Malmö are connected. I knew the address to the store, and had figured out where it was supposed to be, but I still didn't get it right. My map was only about a year old, but something must have changed recently. After ending up at a big mall, I decided to go shopping there, and then made one more attempt to find the Eko store. The second attempt was successful. Like most other times, I didn't really need anything in particular, but bought some office supplies and candy. After dinner at McDonald's, I returned to Kävlinge (without detours this time).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Busy week

It has been a busy week. Since it was the first working week after the vacation, there was a lot to catch up on. The others in my department (the stacks) had managed well, the projects I had given them were almost finished. We have a huge job in front of us - we are going to move about 38 000 shelf meters of books from four different locations into one large new facility some time late next year (at least we hope so, because it hasn't been built yet). The planning process for this is going to be very long. We started making inventory of the collections early Summer and we are basically done with that now. The next step is to decide in what order the books will be moved.

Friday evening I travelled home to my mother's place in Yngsjö. My sister, her husband and 2-year old son John had arrived there Thursday. My mother cooked a very tasty dinner (like she always does), this time it was chanterelle pie. She had picked the chanterelles herself. Saturday Anette and Oscar went to a wedding in the western part of Skåne. Anette was going to be the photographer. My mother and I took care of John. We went for lunch at Furuboda (great buffet), but John, who usually has a big appetite, surprised us by falling asleep in the chair before eating the food. So we had to stay there for a while, waiting for him to wake up again. In the afternoon we went to the railway museum in Kristianstad. There was an extensive display, not only of trains, but also of old military vehicles, police cars, old tractors and buses. John was very fascinated by all this. We went for rides in an old train and a bus from 1952. It was bumpy, but interesting. Later, we continued to Vinslöv to visit a friend of my mother's, Majlis. We had evening meal there. We also received a plum tree to give to Anette.

Today (Sunday) we travelled to Kävlinge. We had been in my apartment for only about ten minutes when Anette and Oscar arrived too. We had lunch here, and then the others left for Borås. My mother left her car here for me to use, and since they went already at 3 p. m., I decided to go to the mall. Not that I needed anything special, but still. I went grocery shopping at the cheap store called Willy's. Since I don't have a car of my own, it's difficult to buy canned goods and other heavy things like bags of flour and sugar. So now I really filled up the cupboards.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

First day at work

Yesterday was the first working day after a four week vacation. It wasn't a total shock, since I had been visiting the library a few times lately. But I had to really think before I punched in the code on the security door to the old collection. I spent most of the day trying to wade through the large amount of emails, talking to my colleagues about all the projects we are involved in and the upcoming jubilee (the building housing the library was built in 1907). I also spent quite some time trying to locate the person responsible for the building we keep a part of our stacks in, on the other side of town. The guy who retrieves books from those stacks called me and said that there was water running down the inside wall in the basement. A water pipe had burst. It turned out not to be as bad as it sounded at first, and the janitor got there very quickly once I had located him. Luckily, our books didn't get damaged.

Lately, I have noticed that my email isn't working that fabulously. Several messages I have sent have bounced. Some messages I never get answers to. If you have problems reaching me, it might be good to know that comcast-addresses are rejected completely by the university mail servers (@ub.lu.se). Hotmail-addresses very often get stuck in the filter also. If you have any of these mail providers, a message will (hopefully) reach me if you instead send it to: tess88roots@yahoo.se or tess88roots@gmail.com. I have had problems with these too, so no guarantees are given.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Last days of the vacation

Friday I went by train to Copenhagen. Not to do anything special, just visit a big city. I had lunch at Hard Rock Cafe, a very tasty baconburger. The dessert was pretty tasty too; hot fudge brownie sundae. After that I went on a short train ride to a huge mall called Field's. I didn't shop that much actually, only some clothes at H&M.

Saturday I went to the regional archive in Lund. All the information I had gathered in Växjö needed further checking. It will take a long time to go through all of it. I stopped by at work also, to look at some books where Önnestad emigrants were supposed to be mentioned. One of the later emigrants, Ivar Jepson, who left Önnestad in 1925, became an inventor in Chicago. He invented kitchen appliances (one was called Sunbeam Mixmaster). It's interesting to learn what happened to the ones who emigrated. Of course, most of them never made it to the history books in their new country.

Today is Sunday and the last day before work starts again. I can't really say that I'm looking forward to it. It has been a vacation filled with activities, research and travelling. My to-do list is still very long (four pages), and I would have needed several weeks longer vacation.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

House of Emigrants

I had to get out of bed at 5.15 today. Not pleasant. It was a long train ride to Växjö, where the House of Emigrants is situated. It's an emigration research centre with huge resources; Swedish-American church records, newspapers, books, passenger lists and also an exhibit. It's a place where I could have spent weeks doing research. I started at the archive. After searching their databases the entire morning, 134 of the 140 pages of my notebook were filled. My hand hurts slightly..... For lunch I met some of my relatives (my second cousin and his wife) that I recently discovered live in Växjö. We got in touch through the internet, where they had posted a query regarding my grandfather and his siblings. It was very nice to see them and exchange family history. We sat for almost two hours in the restaurant, talking about our common ancestors.

I had only a couple of hours left before the archive closed, but I managed to look through a part of the book collection and get some photo copies. I also rushed past the exhibit, taking pictures of it. I was very surprised to see a small part of it dealing with Leroy Anderson!!! I was so stressed that I didn't have time to read the entire text, but I might be able to get that later. One of he major finds today were the names of the ships the Anderson family emigrated on: from Malmö to England's east coast they travelled on the Gozo, and from Liverpool to New York they travelled on the Alaska. Both ships owned by the Guion Line. Arrival date was April 17, 1882.

It has been a very interesting day, but now I really should get some sleep.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mostly research

Time for an update. August 30 I was on an excursion with my colleagues. We went on a bus trip to Ystad. There is an old regiment which has been converted into movie studios. They have produced several Swedish films there, mostly detective stories. It was interesting to see that everything really is fake. The police station consisted of some desks with movable walls and there were only decorations in the places that would show on camera. We got to see an exhibit on how movies are made, all the way from manuscript to distribution. In the evening we were treated to dinner at a restaurant with very tasty food.

August 31 I spent most of the day at the archive again, and then went home to my mother's place in the evening. Like every year, I wonder how the summer ends so quickly? September 1 it was book fair in Kristianstad. Not that I really needed any books, but I still shopped. This time I bought some books by the Swedish author Gustaf Hellström, whose ancestors lived in Norra Strö. I'm thinking of including him in the exhibit at the historical society next summer, so I have to do some research first. We met some friends in the city and continued on to Kulltorpet, a meeting place for handicapped people. They had arranged a motorcycle day there. It's owners of very fancy motorcycles who come over and let people go on short rides in the area. Very much appreciated by all ages, though I stayed on the ground. We spent the rest of the day in Hanaskog, visiting our friends Nils-Åke and Ann-Kristin.

Sunday was resting day, but Monday was a big working day, at least for me. I started by going to the cemetery in Kristianstad, taking a picture of Gustaf Hellström's gravestone. Next I went to Färlöv to do research at the parish office. The next emigrant list I'm working on is for Önnestad, and there were some 20 years of moving records still to go through. During this work I realized that the pastor who had written the names and dates in this particular book had no idea that anyone 100 years later would actually like to read it - the handwriting was hardly legible. After finishing the list with a Nils Persson who left for America in December 1933, but returned again three months later, I went for lunch at the golf club. I thought the parish office in Kristianstad would be open also, but I was wrong. Instead I spent the afternoon shopping. In the evening I attended a Leroy Anderson Centennial meeting at the city hall. We hadn't met since early June and we were all very talkative. The secretary had to leave and lock the room, so we had to end it by seven. But just like most other times the rest of us continued the meeting standing in the street outside the building..... That's how engaged we are in this.

Tuesday I travelled back to Kävlinge, after making a stop at work to do some research. My colleagues in the stacks were not that surprised to see me. They have come to know my habits pretty well by now. I'm probably the one who spends most hours at work during the vacation. There are so many interesting books..... And then I still have a lot of genealogy files in my computer at work, it's much more difficult to access the licensed databases from home and at work there is a color printer I make frequent use of.

Today I have spent many hours in front of my own computer, writing emails and searching for information.