As part of the coursework, interns have to keep a weekly journal of our experiences. Blog entries are acceptable and I thought this would be a great way to keep everyone updated on my library activities at the Lilly Library!
October 19 – 23
Monday, October 19th (4.5 hours):
My 8-weeks course ended last week, so I extend the hours of my internship on Mondays and Wednesdays. I started this session by working on emailed reference questions and then getting down to business on the class notes for a Lutheran Bible Study class coming in. I reviewed the material already written down and decided to familiarize myself with Lutheran history. Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses was given in 1517. King Henry VIII, apparently, wrote a critique of Martin Luther’s ideas in 1519. I say “attempt” because the work, Assertio Septem Sacramentorum…, has also been attributed to Saint John Fisher and Thomas More. Regardless, the work earned King Henry VIII the title “Defender of the Faith” from Pope Leo X in 1521. Later the Papacy revoked the title when King Henry VIII split from Catholicism in the 1530s with the desire to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. This little bit of events became known as the English Reformation. Fortunately for Henry VIII and his successors, the English Parliament re-awarded the title in the 1540s. I decided to look this work up in WorldCat to see the nearest institution that owned a copy and wouldn’t ya know?! The Lilly owns a copy! They also own Luther’s response in a German translation! I was so excited I had to go to the vault to see them. It was a very exciting discovery for me.
Wednesday, October 21st (4.5 hours):
Again, I worked on emailed reference questions, but I continued work on my class notes. I’ve realized that I have 3 classes scheduled for November, but I’ve only been working on the Lutheran notes. I also have a class introducing undergraduate freshman to the Lilly’s research resources. It’s an introduction on how to use the Lilly for their classes. I’ve decided that I’ll show several treasures that represent our collecting strengths and show them how primary research works. It should be interesting! My other class is for a group of home-schooled children aging from Kindergarten to 7th grade. We’ve decided to split them up into an older and younger group to keep their interest levels up… hopefully. They’re studying Ancient Rome to early printing (1600s). I also got to booksit for a group of Ph.D./faculty members. It was supposed to be on magic and the occult, but they spent most of the time talking about one of the member’s blogs. It’s an intellectual blog, so I gathered, and one that’s stimulated much discussion. He’s already received his Ph.D., but was wondering why blogs and other new media can’t be considered “tenure-worthy.” The discussion was FANTASTIC! There’s too much to put up here, but some highlights were:
- The immediacy of blog publishing/immediacy of feedback
- Quality of feedback
- Lack of a “frame” in blog posts/monographs are framed as a published book
- Different “voices” when writing blog versus academic work… good or bad?
- Longevity (or lack thereof) of blogs
- Differences in subject area: musicology vs.humanities vs.physical sciences…
I realize he’s already a tenured faculty member and therefore has the time and luxury to ask these questions, but I feel that this discussion directly impacted me. New media is a big discussion in all areas of scholarship – as it should be. Maybe I’m lucky to be in the library sciences where we seem to be embracing new media. Honestly, I was reeling after I left this talk. It was incredibly thought-provoking!
Friday, October 23rd (4 hours):
More emailed reference questions! I like them, honestly, I just can’t describe them fully to you. I found some photographs, marked some letters for photoreproduction, answered questions. All in a day’s work! I added another teaching class to my schedule in December. It’ll be on the editing process. It’s apparently for a science class, but there’s no science works on the list given to me, just English poetry and drama. I want to see if I can throw some neat science treasures on there, just for fun. Speaking of science treasures… I was working on writing a call list for a librarian truck about Victorian Lives, and I came across a little old work called “On the Origin of Species.” *jaw drops* It hit me that I was handling a first edition of a MAJOR scientific work… NO BIG DEAL. This is what I love to do. I love handling and working with rare books and materials because everyday is a treasure hunt. No, I don’t need to handle a major title to feel excited…. I’ve gotten just as excited by 18th century love letters by common people. A receipt in this building is not just a receipt. It’s something to be placed in a folder or box and cared for.