Sunday, August 14, 2011

My first full day back home

Ok, you guys, you'll never believe what I did last night!  I slept in a bed!  Under a comforter!  In air conditioning!  Under a ceiling fan!  It. Was. Amazing.  And then, I got to drive my car Henry around town!  And then I went grocery shopping with my parents to Publix!  I took a photo of one of their slogans that pretty much sums up how I feel about Publix.  Their other, main catch phrase is "Publix, where shopping is a pleasure"; so true!  And guess what I had for dinner?  A Publix Cuban sub!  Epic day.

Geez, you'd think that I just got back from an 11-week stay in a third world country or something.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Yes.  Finally.  And it didn't come without quite an ordeal.  This morning went well, our car came to pick up Genevieve and me right on time and got us to the airport in no time.  I did have to then take the shuttle to my terminal, but that wasn't too bad.  Because we got there so early, I had quite a bit of waiting to do, but that was find.  But then my flight was delayed.  First by only half an hour.  Then they decided that we would require a new plane as our scheduled aircraft had some damage from the weather.  So they pushed our flight back another hour and a half.  They also kept switching our gates so it felt a bit like musical chairs.  We finally took off at the time when we were supposed to arrive in Jacksonville.  But alas, it was all washed away when I speed-walked (or sped-walked?) out into the arms of my mommy and daddy, tears of joy on my cheeks, so happy to be home.  And now here I sit, on my proper bed, in the air conditioning and silence - real silence, uninterrupted by cars honking or sirens blaring or the general white noise created by running multiple fans at once.  Yes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Our last hoorah

Today, I went to Beacon, New York for my last day in New York City.  Yeah, that's right, for my last day in the city, I left the city.  We spent our last Guggenheim museum culture seminar at Dia: Beacon, an art museum located about an hour and a half north of New York City.  The building was originally a Nabisco box printing factory so it is huge.  The art in the collection makes use of the massive amounts of space offered in the galleries with rather large pieces as well as wide open spaces.  Beacon itself was quite nice as well, and the weather was wonderful.

After touring the museum and having lunch, I bid farewell to all of my fellow Guggenheim interns and new friends and headed back to the city to pack for my trip home.  My glorious trip home!  I have been looking forward to this day for quite some time and it appears it has finally arrived.  I have already booked a car to drive Genevieve and me to Laguardia in the morning.  It's been real, New York, but I think we need a break.  It's me not you, really.  You're going to make someone really happy one day, but for now, I just need my space, ok?  I hope we can still be friends.

Today's mileage: 2.79 mi.
Total New York mileage: 222.77 mi.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's been fun, Guggenheim library

Today was my last day working in the Guggenheim library.  I've learned a lot while I was there and met some really fantastic people.  Becky, my supervisor took me out to lunch to celebrate my last day.  She also surprised me at the end of the day with a parting gift - my choice of either a Guggenheim coffee mug or any one book from the collection of Guggenheim publications.  I decided to go with a book (surprise, surprise), The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright, the Making of the Modern Museum as it is far less likely to shatter in my luggage on the trip home.  Ok, that's not the only reason, I mean, I am a (wannabe) librarian, right?  My last act as the library intern took Becky and I on a tour of the Whitney Museum's new library.  Their library is similar to that of the Guggenheim, though their space was designed more with a library in mind than ours was.  But that is not my last act as a Guggenheim intern: tomorrow we are taking a day trip to Beacon to visit the Dia: Beacon museum.  But I don't want to get ahead of myself here, you'll just have to wait until tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of my whirlwind New York tour!

Yesterday's mileage: 2.31 mi.
Today's mileage: 3.76 mi.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Librarians can help you avoid huge ships

For today's post, I have a couple of fun links for your reading pleasure.  The first is a project started by The Atlantic, asking readers to explain what people don't get about one's job.  If you are a librarian, or know one well, you are most certainly having a proper chuckle over simply considering the numerous things that people don't get about working in a library.  And, in fact, The Atlantic has already compiled a list of submissions available here.  You will no doubt be nodding your head in agreement as you read through people's surprise that librarianship requires a Master's, librarians don't simply sit around reading books all day, and that new technology is not, in fact, threatening the existence of the library.  These are all things that I myself have been asked and explained far too many times to count.

The second link is pretty much pure fun.  I have found it to be absolutely hilarious, so much so that I had to stop reading it on my work break because I was laughing so hard that I was worried people would come in thinking I was upset from the tears streaming down my face.  This is a compilation of the best (read: most gut-busting) reviews for the book How to Avoid Huge Ships.  It's just as funny the second and third time you read it, so you may want to bookmark it in case you ever need a pick-me-up.

Today's mileage: 2.34 mi.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Where was Facebook when we needed it?

Today, I was tasked with attempting to identify the people in photographs from a 1969 Guggenheim exhibition opening event.  I was given a list of the artists featured in the exhibition and asked to find photos of them from around 1969 so that we might match them up with the people in the pictures.  This was not an easy task.  Simply finding photos of these people was a challenge, let alone narrowing it down to a specific time frame.  I couldn't help but think of how easy it is on TV when the techies just run a photo through facial recognition software - yeah, that would have come in handy.  And if not fancy software, where was Facebook back then?!  Think about it - not only would it be really easy to find photos of these artists and just scroll back to albums posted in 1969, but assuming these photos were already on Facebook, they would just be tagged!  Oh, how we take such modern conventions for granted.

Today's mileage: 2.15 mi.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This time next week...

Yep, that's pretty much all I will be thinking about all this week: what I will be doing this time next week.  Thus begins the last week of my internship at the Guggenheim and in New York City.  I know it's not over yet, but before I forget, I'd like to thank all of my faithful (and intermittent) readers for your continued attention and encouragement.  I never thought people would actually want to read about what I do and have to say but alas, you keep coming back for more.  And I thank you for that.  The knowledge that someone will be reading this has kept me on my toes and motivated me to keep blogging about my experiences.  Never fear, I will continue to blog even after I leave New York, though it will probably not be a daily occurrence.  Let's fact it, life in Gainesville is just not as exciting, not that I am complaining.  The excitement of New York is too much for me.  I greatly look forward to going back to working at the UF library and spending my free time baking and such.  And air conditioning.

Today's mileage: 1.09 mi.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Um, I graduated today?

So yeah, the FSU Summer 2011 graduation ceremony was this morning.  Obviously, since I'm in New York City, I was unable to walk.  However, my dear roommates gave me my very own graduation.  The three of us headed down to one of the common areas in the dorm which happens to have a stage-like area and Genevieve, pictured here, gave a lovely little speech before announcing the only available graduate, me.  As you can see, it was a very formal endeavor, Genevieve coming straight from yoga and me draped in a black sheet with a red tank-top-turned-hood around my neck.  Excitement abounded as even our photographer and third roommate, Imani, was trembling with emotion.  After Genevieve handed me my makeshift diploma, I took the stage for a moment to thank my roommates for such a wonderful pseudo-commencement.

Today's mileage: 1.95 mi.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wait, what is the BMW Guggenheim Lab?

This week's museum culture seminar took us to the BMW Guggenheim Lab which just opened Wednesday.  You're probably wondering what the BMW Guggenheim Lab is.  Yeah, me too.  According to the website, it's "a mobile laboratory traveling around the world to inspire innovative ideas for urban life."  It's got a cafe.  The best I could gather was that it's a space created for various events.  I don't know, maybe this is just one of those things I don't get.  But it is completely free for everyone, so if you happen to be in Manhattan and have some time on your hands, you can check it out.  If you have a better understanding of it, please do explain it to me.

Today's mileage: 6.45 mi. (That's a new record, by the way, if you've been keeping track.  It's also roughly the same distance as a 10K.  Today's mileage also puts me over 200 miles for this summer thus far.)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A whole lotta nothin'

I'm not gonna lie, I've got nothin' for you guys today.  Just an average day at the library, cataloging and fielding reference questions.  Honestly, all I can think about is how much I miss home and cannot wait to go back.  If you too are anxiously awaiting my return, please direct your attention to the countdown widget on the left-hand sidebar, with the zero-hour being my arrival time at the Jacksonville airport.  I know that's not technically home, but it's close enough and it's when I get to give my parents a big hug!

Today's mileage: 2.34 mi.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Telling a librarian she can't find something - rookie mistake or stroke of genius?

My favorite fact-checking fellow intern Thadeus was back today, hot on the pursuit of more information.  After an hour and a half of attempting to hunt down the dates for a past exhibition, he finally decided to turn to me for help.  He gave me the low-down of what he was looking for and where he had already looked.  I told him that I would work on it.  He said something along the lines of, "Thanks for the help, I doubt you'll find anything, though."  Oh ye of little faith!  Telling a librarian that he or she probably can't find some piece of information is like giving him or her a challenge that will not be refused.  It only makes us more determined to located that bit of information.  And locate it I did.  It took about an hour, but I finally found it.  So I pose the question again: when a user tells a librarian that he or she probably won't or can't find something, are they making a rookie mistake by doubting the librarian's mysteriously awe-worthy research skills or ingeniously inspiring an extra measure of investment on the part of the librarian to find the information and prove his or her skills?  I think we all know which method Thadeus was aiming for....

Today's mileage: 2.33 mi.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rockin' the reference questions

Thadeus, one of the interns who uses the library quite regularly came in this morning looking a bit overwhelmed.  He explained that he had quite a bit of fact-checking to do and would likely spend a good deal of time in the library today.  He added that he may, in fact, need my help as well.  That is my job, I explained to him, and I would be more than happy, if not completely eager to aid him in his research.  He began his search on his own, but eventually turned to me for some assistance, though he didn't seem terribly optimistic about the library's resources or even our combined effort to locate the information he was seeking.  Needless to say, I accepted his challenge.

So you need to verify that a term was coined in 1950 but did not actually show up as a printed definition until 1952?  Ah, yes, here we are, almost those words exactly in a reliable dictionary of art term.

And you are looking for a 1951 article from an obscure French journal?  I believe this is the essay you were looking for, the full-text reprinted in a library book.  I do hope it is alright that it has already been translated to English.

There is some conflicting information concerning the dates of an exhibition and a gallery's opening, you say?  Well, this book quotes the artist directly confirming the dates of his exhibition at said gallery - will that be sufficient, good sir?

Ok, so it wasn't quite as simple as that, but it was very satisfying to be able to find the information he was looking for and present it to a very impressed library user.  That is why I love doing reference.

Today's mileage: 2.33 mi.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Neat-o photo

I noticed this great photo op a few days ago and finally got around to taking a picture of it.  This is the view from the balcony of one of the NYU buildings - including both the Washington Square Arch and the Empire State Building:

See, Mommy, I told you I see the Empire State Building all the time.
Today's mileage: 2.33 mi.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Laziness and Lady Liberty

My apologies for my lack of blog post yesterday.  You see, dear reader, yesterday I was lazy.  I mean, I still managed to walk just over a mile (see below) in the quest for meals and such, but other than that, I did basically nothing.  It was quite nice, actually.

Today, I was a bit more active.  Anu and I brunched with a friend of hers in Times Square, which was far busier than the one other time I was there.  We later traveled down to Battery Park, at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, to see the Statue of Liberty from across the water.  No, we did not actually go out to the island to see it close-up or climb to the top or anything.  That costs money!  And we are being quite cheap at the moment.  Ok, mostly we just had no real interest in going.  But I also saw the Statue of Liberty when my plane to New York City was landing, which I thought was pretty neat.

Yesterday's mileage: 1.06 mi.
Today's mileage: 2.48 mi.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Auctions are not for me

Today's museum culture seminar brought us to Sotheby's for a mock auction.  We were each given a paddle, a mock catalog, and a budget.  My budget was $650,000.  That's a lot of money, right?  Yeah, not so much at Sotheby's.  And the catalog items were...well, let's just say they were not my taste.  I couldn't help but think that I would rather take that money and spend it at Target or Ikea or something.  Ironically, the auctioneer later said something about how when we get our own places and begin furnishing them, we should come to Sotheby's and not go to Ikea - that we should get some furniture that will gain value over time.  Personally, I just want furniture that will serve its purpose and look awesome in my apartment.  And as I said, antique colonial American furniture is really not my style.  Target and Ikea?  Yes, please!

But anyway, there was a mock auction as well.  Ok, I am not one for gambling and I consider auctions to be a form of gambling so I wasn't too terribly into it to begin with.  Wow, it was one of the most stressful things ever.  The auctioneer just kept talking, so quickly and constantly that I couldn't even process it fast enough to bid on anything.  I mean, there were only 8 items so it was only a few minutes of stress, but still, it was crazy.  But hey, now I know to avoid auctions at all costs, you know, for future reference.

Today's mileage: 3.74 mi.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


So, you may have noticed that I added a countdown to my homecoming on the left sidebar a few days ago.  Yes, I am greatly looking forward to coming home.  And in addition to counting down the days (and hours, minutes, and seconds in my digital countdown), I keep finding other ways to countdown my time in New York City.  From this moment until I fly home:
  • I will do laundry once.
  • I have 2 whole weekends here.
  • I will eat 14 meals from the dining hall.
  • I will spend about $75 in dining dollars.
  • I have 4 museum culture seminars to attend.
  • I will spend 8 days in the Guggenheim library.
  • I will walk roughly 45 miles.
If anyone has any more countdown suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Today's mileage: 2.31 mi.

Navigating the job market

We interns had a bonus museum culture seminar today with the human resources department.  They gave a presentation about looking for jobs and going through the application and interview process.  As with many such trainings, it was geared more toward the museum world (understandable) than to the library world.  That is not to say that I took nothing away from it.  On the contrary, it was very informative to hear about the hiring process from the recruiter and human resources point of view.  One thing that they stressed was the importance of utilizing the benefits of LinkedInI've got a profile which I've kept updated, though I have yet to find LinkedIn to be particularly helpful.  However, I figure it can't hurt, I keep it anyway.  And it's got a link to the lovely blog you are currently reading. 

Today's mileage: 2.29 mi

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The end of an era

I just submitted my last assignment for my MLIS.  That may possibly be my last class assignment ever.  I'm fairly certain that I should be feeling relieved right now, but I can't help but be freaking out a bit here.  I mean, that's it?  Now what?  You mean I don't have to worry about homework anymore?  I don't know if I can wrap my head around that. 

Today's mileage: 2.36 mi

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm famous!

I am the new face of the Guggenheim Library & Archives Department.  Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration but this picture of me with the Guggenheim's rare books collection was featured in the Library & Archives newsletter today.  And it went out to All Staff so I feel all kinds of important.  The rare books are kept under lock and key so you can feel special too because you get to see them...even if from afar.

Today's mileage: 2.29 mi

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Getting away from the city without leaving Manhattan

Because the weather was slightly nicer today than it has been the past few days (it was a mere 90 or so degrees), Anu and I took the opportunity to visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Cloisters Museum & Gardens.  Although it took us a 45-minute subway ride to get there, it was totally worth it.  The air was wonderfully breezy, it was gloriously quiet, and fantastically beautiful.  It was as if we had been transported from the mean streets of Manhattan to a wonderland of peace.  And that was just the gardens!  The Cloisters themselves were fabulously air-conditioned and a treat to enjoy as well. 

After our lovely trip to the Cloisters, Grace and I ventured out to see the movie Horrible Bosses to escape the now-tolerable-but-still-unpleasant heat.  It was very funny and a good end to the day.

Today's mileage: 5.12 mi

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Yay for air conditioned museums!

Yes, my appraisal of museums has been reduced to my enjoyment of their air conditioning.  I met up with Anu today for a trip to the Whitney.  We had a good time, mostly soaking up the a/c, I'm not gonna lie.  My supervisor mentioned to me a few weeks ago that the Whitney recently got a new library and the librarian offered us a tour, which we are in the process of arranging.  But back to my Whitney experience.  As I always do when I visit a museum , I took a quick poke around the gift shop and this time I found something worth buying.  It was a book called I Feel Relatively Neutral About New York.  While both Anu and I are currently learning more toward the feeling-negatively-about-New-York-City side at the moment, especially considering the heat wave, we do recognize the good things that the city has to its awesome museums.  In any case, I purchased the book as a rather telling reminder of my time here.

As I just mentioned, New York does amazing museums, but there is one that I have a bit of a beef with at the moment: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  As you may or may not know, one of my primary missions in New York has been to see Madame X at The Met - a wish that I have been unable to fulfill thus far as the wing in which the painting resides has been under renovation.  Said renovation was slated to be completed July 22nd - yesterday.  However, upon my visit to The Met today for the explicit purpose of seeing my dear painting, I found that the wing was still closed.  I am quite frustrated.  And needless to say, the heat did not help.

In another attempt to seek shelter from the sweltering heat, Anu, Genevieve, and I went to see the final installment of the Harry Potter saga: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.  It was pretty epic.  I cried...kind of a lot.  I mean, not full-blown sobbing, but tears definitely came to my eyes quite a few times.  It's the end of an era, man. 

Today's mileage: 3.30 mi

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beating the heat with museum field trips

This photo is actually from our museum culture seminar to the MTA Arts for Transit program last Friday.  It's a sculpture of a tree hanging upside-down from the ceiling, dripping with Swarovski crystals in Grand Central Market.  You can learn more about it and see more photos of the sculpture here.  (Also, I just uploaded the other photos from that trip as well as my second trip to The Met in case you're interested - see the link to my New York photo album in the left sidebar of the page.)

As for today's museum culture seminar, we learned about the Guggenheim's exhibition management department.  In addition to the exhibitions installed in the Frank Lloyd Wright building, the speakers also discussed the international (and a couple of domestic) exhibitions and satellite endeavors pursued by the museum.  They are currently working on establishing an institution and collection in Helsinki.

After our time at the Guggenheim, I sought refuge from the heat in another exhibition space: The Center for Book Arts.  It was not really what I expected, though I couldn't tell you what exactly it was that I expected.  It seems that their primary purpose is to provide a space and materials to those pursuing various books arts and print-making techniques.  But it was air-conditioned so I'm not complaining. 

And speaking of air-conditioning, I am currently planning my life around the pursuit of it.  It's no wonder as the temperature today was in the triple digits for most of the day.  It's sad when it's so hot that I long to return home to Florida.

Today's mileage: 3.36 mi

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heat wave

New York City is experiencing a heat wave at the moment.  It is unpleasant.  Very unpleasant.  Tomorrow's high is in the triple digits.  It is currently cooler in Florida than it is here.  That is not ok.  Apparently the heat is making me rather cryptic as well.  Fingers crossed for cooler weather soon.

Today mileage: 3.07 mi (despite the weather)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Museum bonus trip

As you may know by now, Wednesdays are not my usual days for museum culture seminars.  However, we had an optional museum field trip after work today, mostly due to the schedule of the museum in question.  We convened at El Museo del Barrio, an institution dedicated to promoting Latino culture and displaying the works of artists of Hispanic heritage.  Mid-week, the museum hosts WEPA Wednesdays, which we were attending.  We were given a lovely tour of the galleries though our tour guide was a bit more interested in having a conversation about the works than we were, having come from a full day of work - and the oppressive heat outside.  This led to quite a bit of awkward silence moments.  It was kinda like when you have class first thing in the morning and the teacher wants to discuss last night's reading assignment, but no one did it, nor is anyone awake enough to form cohesive sentences anyway.  In any case, it was a charming, if not a bit curious, museum and certainly worth the trip.

Today's mileage: 2.43 mi

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Back in business, baby!

Yes, it appears as though the saga that was my computer issues has come to an end - knock on wood.  My laptop is back up and functioning though I am still working on re-installing and re-bookmarking everything.  I know that I had a zillion bookmarks and at least a couple dozen in just my bookmarks toolbar, but I'll be damned if I can't remember them all.  It makes sense really - we bookmark something so that we don't have to remember it.  And I suppose if I can't remember it, it must not have been all that important to begin with.

At work, I have been getting more comfortable with original cataloging and creating Library of Congress call numbers.  As I've said before, it's a tedious process but I am getting faster and better so it's worth it.

Monday's mileage: 2.34 mi
Today's mileage: 3.22 mi

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Computer troubles, original cataloging, art on the subway, and weekend fun

Thank you, dedicated reader, for staying tuned for the exciting continuation of my New York adventures.  As you may know, last week my computer decided to be very uncooperative and has left me pleading with it to work.  Although it is still not yet functional, I believe I have isolated the problem and intend to get it back in top shape as soon as the necessary components arrive (fingers crossed for Tuesday).  Thus, please excuse my lapse in posting - it has not been for lack of excitement or interest.

I suppose I will work chronologically as I always do.  Thursday, I learned to do original cataloging!  I have been doing a great deal of copy cataloging in my internship and in the process ended up large piles of books in need of original cataloging so I decided it was time to expand my skill set.  It is a very tedious process but I am slowly but surely chipping away at my piles of books.  There are certainly some that I am still unable to do as they do not have enough English or another language using the Latin alphabet for me do be able to describe them properly.  But there are plenty of other books to keep me busy.

Friday was another museum culture seminar in which we learned about the MTA Arts for Transit program.  This is the program that commissions and maintains all of the wall murals, sculptures, and other art manifestations in the subway stations as well as some of the posters in the subway cars themselves.  It was interesting to learn about the mediums that they favor as it is necessary to have art that is very durable and able to withstand the daily interaction of hundreds, if not thousands, of people.  A particularly popular medium is the tile mosaic and I found it interesting that they commission both an artist who creates the work and then a fabricator who translates it into tile. 

My friend Phil arrived for a weekend visit on Friday!  On Saturday morning, we met up with one of his friends for a trip to The Met - they went to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition and I took the time to see the rest of the museum.  Unfortunately, the exhibit with my beloved Madame X is still under renovation but it should be open again later this week so I should be able to see it soon.  But back to my visit from Phil - he has been quite helpful in the moral support department in terms of my computer issues.  I am very grateful for his visit, indeed.

Thursday's mileage: 2.31 mi
Friday's mileage: 2.28 mi
Saturday's mileage: 3.81 mi
Today's mileage: 2.50 mi

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Journal Entry #3

Forgive me for my delay in posting.  My computer has incurred some technical difficulties.  It insists that it is unable to locate the hard disk drive, however I am quite secure in my belief that it is indeed there.  I have found some battle tactics to take on the issue so hopefully it will be resolved soon...and at little to no cost.  In the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them.  Also, should my posting be intermittent for the next week or so, you now know why.

Much has happened since my last journal entry.  In the library, I am mainly been copy cataloging the backlog of books that need to be added.  I also asked my supervisor if I could learn to do original cataloging as well and she said that she would show me how later this week.  And because I have been doing a lot of cataloging, I suggested to my supervisor that I complete the free online MARC training through OCLC.  The class was called TMQ MARC21 in Your Library Part 1: MARC & Bibliographic Info Fundamentals and the last couple of modules were helpful but most of it was really basic review.  I was also able to try my hand at some archiving.  There was a major grant-funded project that I was recruited to help with in order to complete the project on time.  Primarily, I was numbering folders and confirming their place on the finding aids, but this also let to a decent amount to finding aid editing.  In addition, my supervisor and I have been working on weeding the collection of duplicate items as well as consolidating records to clean up the catalog a bit.

I have also been busy with museum and non-library internship events.  There have been a number of museum culture seminars since my last entry including trips to exhibition spaces, public art programs, and an in-depth explanation of the Guggenheim’s current exhibition.  Speaking of which, I attended the Members' Opening Party and Private Viewing: Lee Ufan a couple of weeks ago and while I wasn’t particularly taken with the exhibition itself, the event was certainly something I was glad to have experienced.  There was also a program put on by Sotheby’s Institute of Art featuring the director of the Andy Warhol Museum which a number of us interns attended.  Finally, I went to the recent all-staff meeting for the museum.

As for extracurricular New York City activities, I have been visiting a lot of museums.  I have been taking advantage of my free pass to all of the museums in the city – otherwise I would be spending a fortune on admission.  I have gotten in the habit of visiting a different museum almost every day that I am not at work.  I am still blogging daily and more details of my adventures and daily happenings can be found on my blog (here).  I am greatly enjoying my internship but I think I have determined that New York City in general is not for me.

Wednesday's mileage: 3.03 mi

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Manhattanhenge is an event that occurs twice every year, 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after the summer solstice.  The first one of the year happened just before I got here so I was excited to find out that I only had to wait a few weeks to see its second annual occurrence.  This modern phenomenon occurs when the setting sun aligns with the numbered streets of Manhattan.  Manhattanhenge is, of course, named after the famed Stonehenge which has similar solar alignment properties.  Last summer, I visited Stonehenge on my whirlwind trip to London and the UK.  As you can see from my photo here, I had little to complain about heat-wise.

Today's mileage: 3.06 mi

Monday, July 11, 2011

A few words about air conditioning

Take note of the air around you at this moment.  It probably feels deliciously cool upon your skin despite the rising temperatures and suffocating humidity that is summer outside the comfort of your indoor space.  I bet you didn't even notice it before I said anything.  You were just sitting comfortably, perhaps you were even feeling a bit chilly (this is a shout-out to all my ALF people, by the way), unaware of just how lucky you are to be enjoying the benefits of air conditioning.  Be grateful.  Be very, very grateful for air conditioning.  Because when it's hot and you don't have it, it's all you can think about.

And indeed, as you may or may not know, my New York City dorm does not have a/c, and as you can probably tell, it is all I can think about.  I fantasize about it.  I look forward to being at work and bathed in the cool air of the library - note that I did not say that I look forward to going to work as that act of going to work entails me walking a mile in the miserable heat of the city.  And I'm often reminded that I am from Florida, so I should be accustomed to the heat.  While this is true to a certain extent, we in Florida learned a long time ago that it is best to have air conditioning wherever possible.  We have air conditioning at home, in our cars, at work, even on school buses.  In fact, the man who invented air conditioning is from Florida.  The National Statuary Hall Collection in the US Capitol building holds two statues of important people from each state.  One of Florida's statues is John Gorrie, the father of modern air conditioning.  I learned this bit of trivia on my fifth grade trip to Washington, DC and have remembered it ever since.  So thank you, Mr. Gorrie, thank you.

Today's mileage: 3.05 mi

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Oh baking, how I have missed you

A week or so ago I found out that there are kitchen supplies available to check out in the communal kitchen on the first floor of my dorm here in New York City.  Having accepted a lack of kitchen, and in turn an inability to bake, for the summer, this was an extremely exciting discovery for me.  I resolved to bake bagels at some point as those are one of my favorite things to bake, they require very few utensils and ingredients, and said ingredients do not need to be refrigerated.  My roommates were excited as well as they would no doubt benefit from the bagel-baking endeavor.  Thus, after collecting the ingredients from a number of different locations (the grocery stores here aren't what they are in Florida - read: they're no Publix), I turned over my ID in exchange for the key to the kitchen cabinets.  All went well except for a slight hiccup when it came to the amount of salt I had; a hiccup that was easily remedied by sweet-talking the RAs at the dorm front desk with the promise of a fresh homemade bagel in return for access to the staff stash of condiments.  Needless to say, they determined that a delicious bagel was worth a teaspoon of salt.  And soon the bagels were baked and two-thirds of them have already been eaten, leaving just enough for breakfast for my roommates and I tomorrow morning.  Having not baked in 6 weeks, this was a happy day for me and I look forward to doing it again.

Today's mileage: 1.11 mi

Saturday, July 9, 2011

More museum madness

I met up again today with my good friend Anu for a trip to the Brooklyn Museum to see the Vishnu: Hinduism's Blue-Skinned Savior exhibition.  Having a bachelor's in Religion and a minor in Art History, I am always up for a trip to see the two combined.  The avatars of Vishnu with which I am most familiar are Rama, Krishna, and the Buddha.  Thus, I was best able to appreciate the pieces featuring them.  All in all, we both enjoyed the exhibition greatly.  There were, of course, other exhibitions as well.  One piece that I particularly liked was Portrait of a Lady by Giovanni Boldini.  I took a photo but the painting is under glass so the picture has an awful glare to it.  But I was so very happy to spend the day with a friend from home, though I'm not exactly sure if that is good or bad for my homesickness.

Today's mileage: 2.97 mi

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ah, predictability: museum field trip Friday!

I took a break from art museums and made it over to the American Museum of Natural History today with my roommate Genevieve.  We kinda turned into little kids over the dinosaurs.  I think there must be something about the reconstructed bones of enormous, extinct creatures that is somehow alluring to everyone.  I also managed to peek into the Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians to get a quick shot of me doing the good ol' Gator Chomp with a real alligator carcass. (I love that there's a Wikipedia page for the Gator Chomp.  I guess the Gator Nation really is everywhere.)  I will probably get some flack from my mom for not finding an exhibit of the Seminole Native Americans for a photo op of me doing the FSU tomahawk chop (I would like to note here that there is not Wikipedia page for that gesture, I'm just saying.). 
And in true female fashion, we made a point to visit the Hall of Minerals and the Hall of Gems.  It's all just so shiny and pretty and colorful.  But anyway, this museum was a rather different experience because it is so kid-friendly and visitors are not simply allowed to touch portions of the exhibitions but encouraged to do so.  Needless to say, hands-on experiences are generally frowned upon at the average art museum.

In other news, I finally got Google+, Google's developmental social networking service.  It's still in its testing phase so it isn't open to just anyone.  You have to be invited by someone who already has Google+ and even if you know someone with such a hook-up, you have to wait until they open the invitation option, which seems to be rather random and very fickle.  In any case, I am still figuring it out and the funny thing is that my friends and I have been discussing it all via Facebook and Twitter (and now Blogger) rather than Google+ itself.  I feel like I need a crosswalk from Facebook to Google+.  If anyone happens to know of such a thing, please share.  Also, should anyone like an invitation to Google+, let me know and I will do my best to make that happen the next time an invitation window opens up.

Today's mileage: 3.02 mi

Guggenheim exhibition explained

This week's museum culture seminar was held today rather than the usual Friday.  That's because we got a super special tour of the current exhibition, Lee Ufan: Marking Infinity, by the senior curator of said exhibition Alexandra Munroe...and the museum is closed on Thursdays so we had it all to ourselves.  Now, I saw this exhibition a couple of weeks ago at the member's party opening so it wasn't really new to me in terms of seeing the artwork.  However, it was far more enlightening to hear the curator explain a lot of the background of the pieces, series, and exhibition in general.  I still can't say that I am now in love with it, but it did give me a better appreciation for the artist and his work.

Today's mileage: 4.42 mi

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm smack dab in the middle of my trip

Yep, that's right, I'm halfway through my stay in New York City.  And in light of this landmark occasion, I'd like to reflect on some things I've learned and some musings I've been having lately.  First, this is the longest I have ever been away from home.  That sounds so very sheltered, but I don't think that's really the case - I've been to Europe twice, visiting 6 countries altogether, and, obviously, I've lived in Manhattan for over a month now.  I think it's just that I haven't seen much reason to leave home aside from simply exploring the world.  I'm finding that sometimes the best part about traveling is coming home.  Can you tell I'm a bit homesick?

As for a few things I've learned about New York City:
  • The essence of New York City is, apparently, waiting is horrifically long, chaotic lines.
  • Customer service is not a top priority for most businesses here.
  • I don't think I will ever get used to having to pop my ears because the elevator goes up just that high (I work on the 12th floor).
  • Building numbers do not coincide with street numbers - a fact that I find quite frustrating.
  • There are some really cute dogs up here.
  • As much as we complain about the price of gas, taking the subway is way more expensive (It's $2.25 every time you get on the subway or a bus which would equate to driving about 15-20 miles in terms of gas prices, yet I rarely take the subway more than about 4 miles.).
  • It is really easy to find a sandwich with brie in it here (!!).
And speaking of mileage, if you've been following along like the dedicated reader I know you are, you've noticed my daily mileage counts at the bottom of each post.  So far, I have walked a total of almost 120 miles and I average about 3.3 miles per day.  For all my fellow Gainesvillians out there, that's like walking along Archer Road from I-75 to 13th Street, everyday.  Yes, yes, it's good for me, I know, but I can't say that I'm enjoying that part of my stay here.

In an attempt to end my rant of a post on a positive note, I would like to express the fact that I am indeed enjoying my internship, as well as the benefits it has to offer.  As I hope you can tell from previous posts, I do take great pleasure in visiting the amazing museums that the city has to offer, made possible in part by my internship and its free-admission-to-any-museum-in-the-city(-except-the-Museum-of-Sex) benefit.

Today's mileage: 3.33 mi

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The age old art of shifting

Ah yes, shifting the necessary evil that any library must undertake at one point or another.  Shifting is the act of repositioning books or other library materials in order to gain more shelf space to fit additional library materials.  And if you have ever worked in a library for any amount of time, chances are good that you have done a bit of shifting.  This can happen in small scale daily, to accommodate for an extra book or two on a packed shelf or on a large, in-need-of-hardcore-project-planning scale.  Having worked or volunteered in libraries since I was about 8 years old, I have certainly done my fair share of all kinds of shifting.  On a large scale, it is quite a grueling process.  I mean, you are moving large amounts of books, often from a very bottom shelf to a very top one, for a decent period of time - that takes dedication, let me tell you.  In any case, today I was shifting the auction catalogs held in the Guggenheim library and although I was only moving about 3 shelves up a couple of shelves, those things are heavy!  And slippery as all get out.  They all have very heavy, glossy pages in order to best display the items up for auction and man does they weight add up.  But now it is done, and probably won't need to be done again for another year or which point I will be long gone!

Today's mileage: 3.32 mi

Monday, July 4, 2011


Today, fireworks won out over museum field trips.  Yes, fireworks and fellow Gainesvillians.  Ok, just one fellow Gainesvillian, my friend Anu.  We met up earlier this evening to have dinner and go see the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks show over the Hudson River.  Things did not go quite as planned, however.  We had a restaurant all picked out but failed to remember that today is in fact a holiday and thus may be closed.  Needless to say, it was.  So we started walking towards a fireworks viewing spot and eventually found a place it eat.  When we left, it was just in time for the fireworks show to begin but the police were not letting anyone past 9th Avenue, where the primo views were.  The problem was, 9th Ave is just east of the High Line, making said High Line in the line of sight for the fireworks.  Thus, Anu and I ended up standing right in the middle of 9th Ave to see the show - don't worry, there were a ton of other people standing in the middle of the road as well.  In any case, I discovered that the best way to photograph fireworks is using the burst mode on my camera which takes picture after picture as long as you are holding down the shutter button.  So if you flip through the photos I took - see the link below -it's as if you are watching them too!

From NYC fireworks

Today's mileage: 3.88 mi

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Keeping it rollin'

My primary goal of the day was to visit and explore the Morgan Library & Museum which just so happens to be located near a number of other New York City landmarks.  So I took the subway to Grand Central (landmark #1) and wandered from there to the New York Public Library (#2) which wasn't open due to the holiday weekend, but I figured the facade is enough of a landmark to count.  I continued west past Bryant Park (#3) to Times Square (#4) mostly just to say I'd been there - being a dreary Sunday, there wasn't much going on outdoors.  And speaking of the dreary weather, I've found that New York City weather has somehow figured out a way to be both cool and disgustingly humid at the same time, which makes for difficult decisions in the attire department.

But anyway, I finally made it to the Morgan Library & Museum which was fantastic.  This is another small museum like yesterday's Frick Collection which I quite like.  There were a number of things I took note of while there.  First, in the Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands exhibition, there is one illustration described as "Saint Julian accidentally kills his parents."  Now, I don't know about you, but at this point I'm thinking, "This kid accidentally murdered his parents and he still became a saint?  Really, Catholic Church, really?"  I did some investigation and found that the story of Saint Julian the Hospitaller is somewhat similar to that of Oedipus.  That being said, I still don't quite understand what got him sainted.

The next item that sparked my interest was in the Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art exhibition.  One of the lists was written by one Robert Smithson with notes for his Spiral Jetty piece.  And why might this have caught my attention, you ask dear reader?  Well, both Robert Smithson and his Spiral Jetty are mentioned in a song by one of my favorite bands, Vampire Weekend.  The song I reference was not officially released except on the internet so you may not recognize it, even if you are a Vampire Weekend fan as well.  It's called "Giant" and you can listen to here (you can ignore the accompanying slide show/visuals). 

Finally, once I made it to the library portion of the collection, I spent quite some time browsing the shelves for titles that I recognized or seemed interesting.  The books are beautiful, or their spines are at least - everything is behind glass so it's not like I could actually look at anything.  But anyway, one book that made me chuckle a bit read "Heywood History of Women 1657" on the spine.  After a bit of research (I am almost a librarian, after all), I found that the book's title is actually The generall history of women: containing the lives of the most holy and prophane, the most famous and infamous in all ages [sic].  Sounds interesting, does it not?

Today's mileage: 2.89 mi

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Museum field trip weekend!

Today's wanderings took me to the Frick Collection which holds older, more classic works in a domestic setting.  The collection is held in the former home of Henry Clay Frick who was an avid art collector.  The museum is a mix of portraits, landscapes, and various other paintings by the Old Masters.  It is always exciting to see artworks that I have learned about in my art history classes and such.  One painting in the collection is the Sir Thomas More portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger which is at the center of the novel I am currently reading, Portrait of an Unknown Woman.  The museum was small and not terribly crowded which was nice as I was able to see the entire thing in about an hour and at my own pace.

Being so close to Central Park, I decided to wander around that for a bit.  I found my way the the south end of it where there was some sort of Bollywood thing going on or something.  I honestly don't know what it was, all I could tell was that there was a mass of people, some dressed in traditional Indian garb and others wearing tuxedos or fancy dresses, dancing around to Indian music.  If I discover the meaning of any of this, I'll let you know.

Today's mileage: 3.79 mi

Friday, July 1, 2011

Another museum field trip Friday

I am finally getting around to visiting various museums on my days off and today's locale of choice was the Museum of Modern Art or MoMA.  My roommate Genevieve and her friend Tony came with me and we wandered about the museum for a couple of hours.  We came across a piece that was just pieces of individually wrapped candies piled in a corner - candy that we were encouraged to take and enjoy.  Something about when the artist died, his wife was overweight so she resolved to lose 25 pounds and whenever the candy runs out, the museum sends a photo to her of the empty corner and she sends a photo back of her weight loss.  So far she has lost 5 pounds, the guard told us.  Coincidentally, it is a rather festively colored piece, considering the upcoming holiday.  On the third floor is the Architecture & Design Gallery which is reminiscent of an IKEA.  And I do love IKEA.  The fourth and fifth floors hold the museum's Painting & Sculpture collection which held much more familiar names and pieces than the rest of the museum - I could list them off but just think of just about any big name in modern art and chances are they had at least a piece or two up there.  I mean, it is MoMA after all.

After our MoMA excursion, I dragged my cohorts a few blocks north to see the Ai Weiwei Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads installation.  Maybe you remember me mentioning it a couple of weeks ago?  Anyway, it was pretty neat and it will be taken down on July 15th so I made a point to go see it before that.  There I am, standing near my Chinese zodiac sign, the tiger.  This is, of course, slightly different from one's astrological sign which is based upon the time of year one was born.  Below is a panorama of the entire installation:

Today's mileage: 4.02 mi

Thursday, June 30, 2011

All-staff meeting excitement

As today's title indicated, I went to the Guggenheim all-staff meeting this morning.  The meeting was in the Peter B. Lewis Theater in the basement of the museum and had comfy seats and dim lighting - two things that are not particularly conducive to keeping one's eyes open in the morning.  I mean, not that I would have first-hand experience of such a condition, it just seems like a potential situation for the average person.  Anyway, after the meeting, I took the opportunity to stroll around the museum to see the permanent collection as these works were roped off during Friday's exhibition opening.  I think I have finally seen the entire museum now.  That being said, I wouldn't put money on me not saying that exact same thing again at some point in the near future.

Afterward, my boss Becky and I walked across Central Park to take the subway to the downtown offices.  Becky needed to return a couple of books to the public library, so we stopped at the Hudson Park branch on our way back.  It is a small but sufficient branch and reminded me of my mom's library.  We chuckled about how, as librarians, it is not a rare occasion to visit two or three libraries in one day (one's own library plus another location where we might act as a patron and indeed a third study location).

As I'm sure you know, this a holiday weekend coming up and I currently have no plans for said holiday.  If anyone knows of anything particularly awesome going on this weekend, I am open to suggestions.  That being said, please do not say something like, "Go see fireworks!"  I mean, I love you guys, but yeah, duh - I'm shootin' for specific events here.  Thank you!

Today's mileage: 3.97 mi

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's not every day that I get to rip a book up

Yeah, that's right, I ripped a book apart today.  Is your jaw on the floor?  It was totally sanctioned and my boss even gave me the instrument of destruction: a letter opener.  Ok, ok, I was tearing it up because the pages didn't get cut apart when it was printed so they were all folded up on each other.  So really I was helping the book out.  I'm not gonna lie, it was kind of fun but I was glad that the book was only about 80-some-odd pages as it got kinda old after the first 70.  I found a couple of other neat books today, too.  One was just postcards.  It wasn't really bound, but rather in a sort of portfolio kind of thing with 7 postcards in it.  The other book find of the day was a book that had 2 original lithographs in the back of it.  Needless to say, that got added to the rare books collection

Today's mileage: 3.01 mi

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

MARC training = done

At last!  I have conquered the TMQ MARC21 in Your Library Part 1: MARC & Bibliographic Info Fundamentals training course!  It did finally get helpful in the last module when it went into describing the differences among tags, fields, delimiters, indicators, etc.  I do think that growing up with computers makes it easier to grasp the concepts behind MARC as it is simply another form of coding akin to HTML or CSS.  The use of the term "tag" alone has become common place today due to folksonomies and Facebook photo identification.  One module of the training focused on why MARC is used in libraries.  It seems obvious to me, but then again, I'm the daughter of a librarian so a lot of library stuff seems rather intuitive to me but not to the general public, as I've found.  One reason that the training gave for using MARC records is because libraries have been using MARC for decades so, basically, it would not make sense to change it now.  While I understand this point and acknowledge it as a decently valid argument, I couldn't help but think that someone should be saying, "If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump off a bridge as well?"  It seemed to be implying that we are just sticking with it because it would be too much work to change it rather than highlighting the fact that it simply still serves its purpose quite effectively.  In any case, my boss directed me to the OCLC Bibliographic Formats and Standards handbook which she finds quite useful - I bookmarked it.

So remember how I was saying the other day that Dan Savage and his husband were the grand marshals of Sunday's NYC Gay Pride Parade?  Well, it turns out that just days before, he was the opening session speaker at the annual ALA conference.  Yes, if I was up on my library world happenings, I would have known this, but I'm not gonna lie, I was kind of trying to ignore all of the conference buzz since I couldn't be there.  Clearly it only worked to a point anyway.

Today's mileage: 3.13 mi

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday, Monday

More good ol' cataloging today.  I did, however, also start a free training course through OCLC today.  I heard that they were offering free self-paced trainings to members so I looked into it.  The Guggenheim is not a member of OCLC for at least a couple of reasons: it's expensive for one, and also there is some debate about whether or not it would be beneficial to have the collection available through WorldCat.  Why not, you ask?  Well, the Guggenheim library and archives are not open to the public for the most part and the concern is that making the catalog available in that manner would incur an influx of requests from researchers.  But I digress...  I looked into what it meant to be a "member" of OCLC in order to take the free courses and apparently, all you have to do is sign up for a free account on their website.  So sign up I did.  And I registered for the course MARC21 in Your Library Part 1: MARC & Bibliographic Info Fundamentals as I am doing quite a bit of cataloging in my internship.  The first few modules are really, really basic and I couldn't help but think, "Yeah...I just spent thousands of dollars learning all of this...."  But I stuck it out and I think I am getting into more informative sections now.  My computer decided to be quite unhappy with the course console so I gave it a rest for the day.  Tomorrow it better be ready to get back on the horse. 

Today's mileage: 3.08 mi

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gay Pride Parade - what else, of course?

Today was the annual NYC Gay Pride Parade so, needless to say, that's where I was this afternoon.  The new marriage equality legislation played a big part in today's events with many marchers holding signs saying "Thank you Governor Cuomo!"  And speaking of, he was just one of the many well-known personalities that marched today.  Also of note was Dan Savage who, with his husband Terry Miller, served as grand marshals for the parade (see photo, Dan Savage is on the passenger side).  Dan Savage started the It Gets Better Project, aimed at preventing LGBT youth suicides and providing them with hope in general.  Other big names included a few more politicians and burlesque dancer Tigger! who I never would have recognized had it not been for my previous trip to the Museum of Sex which featured a portrait and video of him in its exhibition The Nudie Artist: Burlesque Revived.  If you don't mind the frequently scantily-clad marcher and even some nudity (not my own of course), you can see all of my photos from the parade here - you've been warned.

Today's mileage: 1.86 mi (though I did stand for a solid hour or two as well)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mini London reunion

I saw a guy this morning wearing a UF shirt and did a double take.  I thought nothing of it at first, as that is practically the uniform in my hometown of Gainesville, Florida.  Then I remembered, "No, Toto, we're not in Gainesville anymore; this is a rare sighting."  I'll admit, I stared at this random middle-aged stranger for a few moments before continuing on my journey.

Anyway, the real excitement of the day was meeting up with two, count 'em, not one, but two of my London people!  Elana, Lynn, and I went to the Hester Street Fair this afternoon and then wandered about the city.  The fair was rather small so we walked back up through Chinatown and Little Italy before heading back up Broadway and stumbling upon another fair, which I believe was the same one I came across last weekend, the Clearview Festival.  Having been on our feet for quite some time, we sought refuge on the benches of Washington Square Park where a small cluster of people were gathered to gaze upon something atop one of the surrounding buildings.  We finally discovered that everyone was staring up at Pip, the baby red-tailed hawk whose nest is at the top of one of the NYU buildings.  I think there is some relation between Pip and Pale Male but I haven't been able to find an immediate connection and to be honest, I don't have the interest enough to really try.  In any case, below is a photo of the top of the building, with an arrow pointing to what I think is Pip (I couldn't actually see him from the park).

After that excitement, we wandered around the park and found a guy doing some really cool sand art.  It was amazing.  We then dined and had a jolly good time before parting at the subway station.  'Twas a good day.

And by the way, in case you have been living under a rock, the state of New York did indeed legalize same-sex marriage.  Epic.

Today's mileage: 5.51 mi

Friday, June 24, 2011

Library training, Madison Square Park, Guggenheim opening party, the list goes on and on...

Such a long day!  I shall start at the beginning.  This morning, we interns had library and archives training at the Guggenheim.  You're probably chuckling to yourself, "Ha, but Katy, you are the library and archives intern, certainly you don't need that training" and while you may be right that I didn't need the training, it was nonetheless rather informative, particularly in respect to archives.  My background is mainly in libraries so archives are kind of new territory for me. 

Following our training, we had a break before meeting back up at Madison Square Park to learn about their public art program.  Along with a number of historical statues scattered throughout the park, they are currently featuring Jaume Plensa's Echo sculpture on their main greenspace (see right). 

We then dispersed again only to be reunited later in the evening for the Members' Opening Party and Private Viewing: Lee Ufan back at the museum.  Yep, that's right, I got to go to an exhibition opening, I am awesome.  And I got to bring a guest - my former London study abroad classmate, Lynn!  Back in London, Lynn and I were museum buddies, always up for a trip to some exhibition in our off time.  And she is in the city for the weekend so I invited her along.  We both found the Lee Ufan exhibition to be...interesting but we were just as excited to simply be at such an event and to people watch and play fashion critic.  Yes, our night boiled down to, "I bet that suit was ridiculously expensive...That dress is just a tad too tight for her...Check out the guy in the flannel...."  And that, dear reader, was my day.  A rather long one, as inferred from the sheer number of photos included in this post and today's mileage (see below).  So I leave you tonight with a neat-o vertical panorama of the Guggenheim that I created before promptly passing out:

Today's mileage: 5.84 mi

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More archiving

Just as the blog title indicates, I was doing more archiving today!  Apparently I was so awesome yesterday that my services were requested again today.  They were especially glad that I was catching a lot of mistakes - whether it was missing folders, extra folders, out of order folders, you name it, I was all over that mess.  I also acted as a bit of a sounding board to one of the archivists concerning one of the findings in the archive.  As part of the archival project, the Guggenheim has been keeping a blog of findings that the archivists, well, find.  These are various interesting discoveries that the archivists have come across and make digitally available to the public along with a bit of background information.  I'm not sure if the finding that we discussed today actually made the cut for the blog or not, but it was interesting nonetheless to be a teeny bit involved in the process.

So tomorrow, I am going to the Members' Opening Party and Private Viewing: Lee Ufan at the museum.  This is the opening of the new exhibition that the Guggenheim is hosting and as staff, I get to attend and bring one guest.  Stay tuned to find out who my +1 is!

Today's mileage: 2.77 mi

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New skill: archiving!

I got to learn a bit more about archiving today.  The Guggenheim is currently working to complete the archival of a collection of materials from the Hilla von Rebay Foundation, made possible by a grant from the Foundation.  Hilla von Rebay was the first director of the Guggenheim making her a rather important figure in the history of the museum.  In addition to the archive, the Guggenheim library houses Rebay's personal library.  If you are interested in learning more about the collection, the list of folders is available here along with links to a large portion of digitized items.

But what was I actually doing today?  Ah yes, I had the oh so glamorous task of numbering folders.  Now, you may be thinking that that must be some technical term for a complex task which would require a great deal of training; nope.  It's exactly was it sounds like - I was literally writing numbers on folders pretty much all day long.  The fact of the matter is that the reason why materials get archived or cataloged is so that they will be accessible at a later date.  Thus, finding aids, like the one linked to above, are created which point to the exact box and folder in which an item should be.  And in order to create said finding aid, someone must verify the folders in the boxes, number them, and condense that information into a single document.  And that's exactly what I was doing today.

I've got some pretty cool stuff coming up, you guys.  Just letting you know - you may want to break out the popcorn soon.

Today's mileage: 3.24 mi