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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lots to do

Things are still crazy at work. There was a scholar asking for books printed pre-1800 in cyrillic letters. This is incredibly hard to find, because that information is not noted in the catalog. The worst part was the fact that my boss didn't pass on the request to me, so when he arrived at the library it got a lot more stressful than anyone wished. He had travelled from Stockholm just for this, and he was in a hurry. His gratitude was limitless (I found books he didn't know about), but I really don't want that long workdays. I have been at work almost 12 hours several days the past weeks. It's supposed to be eight. I can't take out the overtime in money, I have to take time off - the question is when..... Sigh.

Last week we had another intern visiting the library. She was from the Royal Library in Copenhagen, and was here on an exchange for a week. She was in the stacks for two days and seemed to understand the concept. I have problems with the Danish language, but we managed to communicate anyway.

Desk duty today was busy. I got several challenging questions. One elderly man came in and asked for the book that had been retrieved for him. I noticed that the book (printed 1804) was written by someone with the same surname as the patron. I asked about this (we are really not allowed to inquire, but I couldn't help myself) and he gladly explained that it was one of his ancestors. In fact, he was there to find out if the book contained any family information. It was an unusual name, so I googled it and found some more details and a reference to another book. He was happy to get this info also. Other questions regarded an 18th century book in French vs English (we had both, to my surprise), if there are any manuscripts from the Färö Islands (I couldn't answer, but sent it on to a colleague), and if the handwritten signature on a title page could be deciphered (yes).

Outside of work, I have more research requests than ever before, and from several different people. Even a colleague asked for help. It's one of my bosses and he was impressed by my findings. It was easy to get the answers, but of course I didn't tell him that.

Yesterday I suddenly noticed that there was a new thumbnail added to my computer at work (this is done centrally on all computers). I was thrilled to see that the library now subscribes to one of the Swedish genealogy databases with scanned church records. This means that I will be at work even longer hours (not to work all the time, though).

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