World Baking Day!

I had some excellent news yesterday! After 9 years of annual MRI’s to document the progress of my Multiple Sclerosis, I finally get to step down to every other year! I’ve been pretty stable since I was diagnosed, minus a small hiccup while I was pregnant/breastfeeding my son. I was off my medication during that time so it’s completely understandable that I would have a flare up.

In case you haven’t heard my story, I was diagnosed my senior year of high school. My stomach went numb first and we just thought it was a pinched nerve. When the numbness started spreading to my leg, we decided to go to the doctor. After multiple MRI’s, a little electric shock to my nerves, a spinal tap (which ended up not closing up which resulted in me losing spinal fluid and practically passing out in my classes which sent me back to the hospital for them to inject blood in it to help it scab over), and a lot of blood work, I was finally diagnosed. I will never forget the moment I found out.  Since I was underage, my mother found out first. She promptly called a family meeting in which all of us (my brother, sister, my sister’s husband, my boyfriend, who is now my husband, and myself) found out at the same time. I’m not going to lie, I kind of resented not being the first one to know. I mean it was my condition after all and she was treating it like she was the one going through everything. But what’s done is done and after so many years it doesn’t bother me anymore, but please, if you are a parent, PLEASE tell your child about their condition BEFORE announcing it to everyone else. It will make for a more trusting and less dramatic outcome. =)

Anyway, I’ve been plotting a way to celebrate ever since yesterday afternoon. Imagine my joy when I discovered today is World Baking Day! I seriously LOVE to bake. What I don’t love are the countless pounds I gain afterwards since I’m the only one that really eats sweets in my house. Sometimes I totally wish I was like my husband and could just turn my nose up at sweets, but my willpower is practically non-existent. Sugar is my kryptonite.

I’ve been looking around at recipes all evening to see what I want to make this weekend. It’s the least I can do to celebrate the holiday and my good news, right? My favorite place to go when I’m looking for something new to make is the home economics pamphlets collection that we have digitized. I could spend hours looking at all the old recipes. We have cookbooks, pamphlets, and government documents, all containing something to do with cooking and baking.

Here are a few (you can click on the image to go to the actual pamphlet with recipes):

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We have some pretty great stuff as you can see. The cooking for a man one really cracks me up! It definitely sets the tone that A1 sauce and a slab of meat is the way to win your man over. I really wish my computer/internet would cooperate so that I could share my favorite kind of “eww” ones (ugh! Satellite internet is NOT my friend, y’all). We have one pamphlet called All about Lard and several that are about jello and aspics. They are pretty cringe worthy if I say so myself.

If you get a moment, I hope you can check them out and get ideas what to make to mark World Baking Day, especially if you are a baker like me! Happy baking, y’all!



A sad, happy {unknown feeling} day has come to this library tech. We got a letter in the mail at work the other day and now they have made it official….card official that is.

catalog cardsYou are reading that correctly, OCLC is no longer going to produce cards! The cataloging card environment is officially coming to an end (at least for OCLC users). I know, I know, I can hear the question now, “you still order cards?” Why yes, yes we do. Not for everything of course; that would just be insane. We order cards for the material housed in Special Collections. They contain all of the book specific notes and Spec Coll (as we lovingly refer to them) will write acquisition information on the back of the cards.

Now to be completely honest, I have a love/hate relationship with these suckers. They are awesome for storing information and having a back up if technology fails (which it has, once to be exact, since I started working full time here). They are awesome for migrations. On the other hand, they are a pain to keep up with, we constantly were having to reorder them because they would never come and we sometimes would even get the dreaded “z” card *gasp*.

So until September 30, 2015 we have the privilege of cataloging and ordering as much as we can. After that date, life as we know it will change, hopefully for the better.


We decided to do a “Recipe a Day” earlier this week on Facebook since we have this awesome home economic pamphlets collection. It’s the perfect time to do it since the holiday season is coming up. It was just a way to get people engaged in what we do–community outreach sort of thing. So far we have posted some really bizarre stuff. Continue reading

Fore-edge paintings

I just had to share what I’m cataloging today! I have seen these several times but I think these are gorgeous and definitely worth sharing. Let me illustrated what I’m referring to.

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These all look like regular edges, right? I’ve always loved gilt edges. I think they look fancy and refined and I just like that in my books. =) But, check this out:

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If you fan the edges just a bit, you see fore-edge paintings! I just think these are so gorgeous. The detail is amazing and I’m always surprised when I come across these because they are in such awesome condition. I’m sure the colors were once more brilliant, but the colors are still right on and perfect.

These three scenes are of Dublin, Worcester, and Folkestone and were probably painted in the 1920s and 30s by the “Dover Painter”, which is interesting because these books were published in 1788 (they are found on The works of James Thomson, 1788). That means the “Dover Painter” came along and painted the fore-edge after they had already been in circulation a while.

My goal in life is to one day learn to be a fore-edge painter. I’ll have to learn to actually paint first though lol. Have I mentioned how much I love my job?!

There’s just something to that old photograph



You’ve probably guessed it by now, but I have a serious love for some old stuff. Books, pictures, things, you name it, if it’s old I’m going to stop and take a gander or try to buy it, if it’s in my price range, of course. Most of the time it’s not in said price range, so I’m stuck with looking and dreaming and maybe giving whatever it is a nice pat to let it know that I still love it even if it’s not going home with me. Continue reading

18 month old boy’s reading list

In case you have gathered it yet, I’m a big fan of reading and libraries. I always have been. I’m not exactly sure where my love of books came from since my parents didn’t really sit down and read and my siblings, well, let’s just say they like to spend their time elsewhere.

My parents never took me to a library (that I can recall anyway) but there were countless hours spent in antique shops where there was a plethora of old books (which is probably why I’m obsessed with older books). I remember hanging out in my elementary school library doing odd jobs for our librarian while I waited for my piano lessons. Thinking about it now, our librarian probably hated my mom for making him be my babysitter but I think it was definitely that wonderful man who recommended the best books that help my love for books grow.

Naturally, I wanted my son to enjoy reading as much as I do. I always had this vision of laying in bed with my child and reading the latest book before bed and just cuddling, you know, like in the movies. Thank goodness he turned out to be a reader (well a listener since he can’t talk or read but y’all know what I mean). I’m constantly searching the web and Pinterest for good reading lists and suggestions for his age group. Luckily, I’ve found some great stuff and I’ve run across some of his favorites just browsing.

So here is a short list of my sons favorite books just in case anyone needs any suggestions. Continue reading

Dicken’s bringing out the researcher in me

As long as I can remember I have always loved to do research. There just something about googling facts and stumbling across something unexpected that makes my day. I’m really into genealogy and all that good stuff but I love researching books which is a good thing that it’s a part of my job. If I got paid all day to research books my life would be made but, alas, I still have to do edits on those pesky C’s. This afternoon started with this little book. It’s an adaptation of some of Charles Dicken’s works but in play form. photo 1 (2) It looks innocent enough except that there’s no publishing or copyright date. Well that’s ok, it happens all the time and there’s a nice notice on the advertisements about it being the “season 1925.” photo 2 (2)


Then I’m talking to my supervisor about whether I should put a new record in and BAM we find this:

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Volume 1? What is this volume 1 business? Well it appears that this is volume 2 (maybe?) of a set of dialogues with Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield and Nicholas Nicklby all in volume 1. So to the internet I go! I always check Publisher’s Weekly first. Thank goodness for Google Books and the Internet Archive that have these things digitized and text searchable. It makes life a million times easier.

So I came across this in the October 8, 1904 Publisher’s Weekly:

Not the right date but it’s getting me close to what I need to know. According the the preface there were up to 3 editions (possibly more) of this set and this advertisement *could* be from one for the earlier edition. It pairs this volume with comic dialogues. So I search OCLC for comic dialogues from Dickens and I find this note in the record: “Contains 35 only of the 45 dialogues originally published in 1870 by Lee and Shepherd as: Dialogues from Dickens.” hmmm so originally published by Lee and Shepard maybe? Luckily, the record also has this 510 reference, Podeschi, J.B. Dickens, D150! Sweet! I love it when people site where they got their information.

So since we don’t own this book (it’s Dickens and Dickensiana : a catalogue of the Richard Gimbel Collection in the Yale University Library by John B Podeschi for all those who want to know what the reference means) I’ll have to ILL it. ILL is interlibrary loan in case you didn’t know. Basically, if you library doesn’t hold a certain book they can request it from another library and you can check it out a few days later just like it came from your own library. I ILL stuff all the time, especially children’s books for my son to read.

So while I’m waiting for that to come in, I scour the internet for more information on the series (Baker’s entertainment series) and the arranger (W. Eliot Fette). The series turned up nothing, no one single, little, itty-bitty hint of anything.

The arrangers name brought up at little more information.

From The annual list of new and important books added to the public library of the city of Boston : selected monthly bulletin 1902-1903 (found here:

So now I know that the third edition really was the one put out in 1903 so this 1925 might just be a reprint but only time will tell. It also looks like there was a third dialogues –Humorous dialogues that could be volume 1 instead. Could this be a 3 volume set?

I also stumbled across this Dialogues from Dickens *SECOND SERIES* (so now we are going to throw in a second series with the volume set, huh? Just make life more complicated why dontcha?)  digitized by the Haiti Trust (;view=1up;seq=7) The preface is word for word what I have in my minus the date at the end of October 2, 1971. It’s looking more and more like a reprint from the Lee and Shepard editions. BUT, our content page is half the amount AND we don’t have second series written anywhere (including the one on page 11 of the Haiti Trust one) on our copy. Also, the index at the back is exactly the same sans pagination (our index has been stripped of pagination). Definitely looking like this is a cheap knockoff but only time will tell….

Pictures are worth a thousand words

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m obsessed with pictures (I think I take at least one picture or more a day with my phone–that doesn’t even include my awesome big camera). I was always that kid who likes to document every, single thing I was doing, but with pictures instead of words. Ironically (considering I have a blog of all things), I’m not a fan of writing. I have horrible grammar. I seriously think I blocked out everything I learned about commas, prepositional phrases, and all that jazz to the point where I look uneducated when I write. Does it bother me that I don’t know basic skills that a third grader knows? Sometimes; Especially when I’m writing an email to a big wig or someone from another university when I need information about a book I’m cataloging that they’ve put in a record for. I’ll agonize about whether this comma is in the right place or if that word really should be capitalized or not. Why don’t you learn grammar, you say? I’ve tried. I’ve checked out books to study this and that, but for some reason it never sticks and I’m left doubting myself. I had the same issue with foreign languages. Language just isn’t my thing (surprising, considering my life is built around books and words).

Now pictures, they speak volumes. If I take a picture, I don’t have to describe what I’m looking at and how awesome it is. You just have to look at a picture of it and draw your own conclusions and descriptions of what’s going on. My fourth grade teacher always gave us a pictures to paste in our writing books and we had to write a story around what we thought was going on in the picture (great way to get a child involved in writing for you teachers out there).

I implemented a “Photograph of the day” on Facebook over a year ago just to get some of our awesome photographs out to the public to view and enjoy. Who doesn’t love a snapshot back in time (well I’m sure there are some fuddy duds out there but we’ll pretend they don’t exist)? Today, I ran across some awesome pictures that I just had to share.


World War II is probably my favorite time period to examine. There always something new to think about. This is one of those pictures that just made me do a double take in my mind. We all know there was the threat of chemical warfare in World War II and especially after with the Cold War, but I never thought about the ramifications of having to deal with that fear of something suddenly happening. In this photograph, the hospital was doing a gas mask drill. I’m guessing they were training to make sure they could still perform their job duties with these ridiculously huge but life saving devices on their faces.  It just makes you stop and think about all the fear they might have felt or in some cases, ,the annoyance of being made to do these types of drills even though you knew they were necessary (kind of like tornado drills in school. I hated putting my butt up in the air, but I knew it was for my own good).


I also love it when I’m browsing through pictures and run across familiar faces. This is a photograph of Eleanor Roosevelt visiting a soldier in a hospital. How could you not love this picture? A lot of people probably didn’t even know this picture existed. That’s why I love the internet. It always links you to some awesome content you would have never come into contact with otherwise.

You can check out our Facebook page if you want =) Not that I’m plugging it or anything (cough cough).


Cooking…the library way (say what?!)

Cooking, the very word strikes fear in some people’s hearts, but for others, like myself it’s met with mixed emotions. I absolutely love to cook (and here comes the B word), BUT I hate to try to figure out what we are going to eat every, single night. Let’s face it, we all have our go to recipes and we only seem to cook those go to recipes, ever. Seriously. I think I make spaghetti at least every two weeks. My child loves it, it’s quick, and it’s super easy to clean up. I maybe have two weeks of food recipes that I use religiously and that gets old.

Pinterest has certainly helped with shaking up the recipes and all the internet searches and cookbooks. But what about those who don’t have the internet and don’t make it a habit of buying those crazy expensive cookbooks? Who doesn’t have internet these days, you say? This girl right here. I do most of my interneting (not a word, I know, I know) from my phone.  I post blog updates, check out the latest drama on Facebook, and browse for my cool new project or recipe on Pinterest all from that little, tiny screen (I will admit that I do edit and sometimes make posts on my break at work, though). One day, I will break down and not be a cheapskate but for now I’m enjoying not having an internet bill (If that blows your mind I’m sure it will be equally devastating for you to learn I only have free T.V., I know, I know, shocker!) =). But back to the question, what about those few of us?

That’s where the library comes in. I think most people over look everything libraries have to offer. My library has a rich collection of cookbooks. Any type of food you can imagine, there’s a cookbook for it. I’m sure some of you already knew about this awesome (and free!) resource, but did you know about that pamphlets?

I think this is going to be the next big thing (because we all know how up to the times I am, right?). The library I work at has a HUGE pamphlet collection that ranges from recipes to household care. It even has some awesome church cookbooks (we all know church lady’s know how to cook some of the best food you ever put on your tongue). It’s housed in our Special Collections so it can’t go home with you, but we are in the process of digitizing it (You can check it out here: . Which is what I’ve been up to in digital projects here lately.

I submitted a proposal a couple of years ago to get these pamphlets on the internet, where they can be used, instead of just sitting in a vertical file. I can honestly say, this is one of the funnest projects I’ve worked on. Just knowing that you can try to make a recipe from 1914 is just amazing to me. You can eat what someone else ate exactly 100 years ago! I just blows my mind. Some of them sounds fabulous, some of them not so much (like ham in a jello mold–not my cup of tea), but I have been dying to try some of these sucker out. One from the Baker’s Cocoanut Recipes is going to happen soon (How could you not want to make something with that cute little coconut on the cover?).

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