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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Book lecture

Last week I gave a short lecture at work. The subject was Biographical works that include "ordinary people". There are many biographical reference works with celebrities and people who had a high status in the society, but there are also quite a few containing information about more normal people. These books were commonly produced during the first half of the 20th century. I have seen many of these books in the stacks, and wondered why no one seemed to be interested in reading them. I have found several of my relatives listed in those books. Most of my colleagues didn't know they existed, so I showed some of them at this lecture. It wasn't that advanced, I just read out loud from the books, quoting the topic (often different trade categories like janitors, waitresses, farmworkers and automobile drivers) and gave some general hints on family history research. I have given this lecture before, but we have many new employees here, so it was worth doing again.

Saturday I went with my friend Eva to the archive center to attend Archive Day. There were lots of visitors, mostly older people. This is rather typical, as the younger ones tend to do their research in front of a computer at home instead. I had sent out a message to all my colleagues about this, because there were tours to the stacks and people had asked me what they look like. I saw three colleagues there, and all wondered why I was there (it's the same place we have our new storage, so I'm there for work often). I even went on one of the tours to the stacks, and they opened the doors to our storage and of course I couldn't help myself, so I explained about the shelving system and how it works (or not).

Sunday I was at work (the library this time) to do some genealogical research for someone else. A fairly big case but not so complicated. I got stuck when one ancestor had the same birthplace in all the household records, but he is not in the birthbook for that parish. Slightly annoying and I haven't been able to find the right place yet.

I have been sick for more than a week now, it's a cold that just goes on and on. Now I have problems speaking, so I e-mail my closest colleagues, even if they are sitting in the same room. I had big difficulties talking to the movers (I can only whisper), but I think they got the message anyway. The call number consists of digits this time, so it's fairly easy to understand.

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