Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Am a Mighty Geek

From June 2010
How big of a geek am I? Well, the answer to that question is directly tied to that pile of dirt.

I brushed that dirt out of the folds and crevasses of two particularly dirty mining diaries from the 1940s. What makes me a geek is that once I started seeing sparkly bits (potentially silver) and small splinters of wood, I considered saving that pile of dirt. I thought of the authenticity of the diaries -- the authors wrote their work descriptions while they were in the mines. This is THEIR dirt.

We didn't keep the dirt. However, we have the diaries.

From June 2010

From June 2010

I found the diaries to be particularly interesting because in addition to the work descriptions, the day-shift authors wrote notes to the night-shift authors, and vice versa. In one of the diaries (the more recent one), the men called each other by name in their notes. While they were writing to each other about issues, conditions, tools, and other topics, I could tell that they shared a friendship of sorts. They said "Please," which says a lot. You won't find "Please" in the other diary.

From June 2010

From June 2010

The mining collection I'm processing also includes two other ledgers, but they reveal entirely different information. One documents stockholder information such as names, addresses, number of shares, prices paid, and dividends paid. The other ledger is a brief look into miners' rates of pay, their positions, they days they worked, and any deductions from their pay.

I've also been examining what appear to be the files of the company president. My survey is at the very beginning, so I'm waiting to develop a solid opinion, but I can safely say that this gentleman was very interested in management theory. He kept lots of clippings from magazines, newsletters, and newspapers on the topic.

The more I dig, the more I want to dig deeper. And that's another reason why I'm a mighty geek.

4 comments:

mcnairy said...

So, so interesting. I feel your geekiness. Susie

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks so much, Susie!

Maria Shanahan said...

Deb, that's fascinating! Thanks for reminding me why I'm struggling through this MLIS :-)

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Maria. Guess that means I am the hope! Hey, and if it leads to a full-time gig, what a bonus!