Friday, October 3, 2008

Smooth Sailing

Every once in a while an archivist will come across something completely unexpected in a collection in process. Although we've uncovered many aesthetically pleasing items in the sizable amount of NYCC boxes, we haven't seen too many items that seem strikingly out of place or unusual. Until we found this:

It was puzzling, to say the least. We found it in a box of arbitration records, as well as a mix of a few other items like photographs and building plans. We think that it is probably somehow related to one of the arbitration cases, evidence possibly. Maybe it is a game someone created? Maybe the two parties of the arbitration case acted out their dispute using toy ships, complete with toothpick sails? (There seems to be a name written on two of the wooden ships, so I think this is a distinct possibility, right?) Maybe this somehow just got accidentally mixed in with the records--maybe it was sitting on someone's desk and a secretary mindlessly packed it up with the rest of the records. We don't know the answer, but we were surprised and amused to find this little box of ships--and it’s a nice break from correspondence and committee reports.

Katie and I have been slowing down in processing as we focus momentarily on other things related to the collection--more on that later. We now have a student assistant who is dedicated specifically to helping us with the odds and ends of processing, and we are very luck to have her. So . . . we can see the end in sight! It will be so satisfying when this collection is finally accessible to the public.


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