Friday, February 26, 2010

Archives, you say?

Most of us think of libraries as being a place where books and quiet reside. In many libraries that image is pretty accurate.

Archives are probably thought of as being dark and dusty.
Something from a Harry Potter volume or a medieval mystery like The Name of the Rose.

Somehow most Fridays in the Pasadena Museum of History archives never fit either bill. Today was certainly no exception. Something must have been in the air - the reading room of the archives was filled with energy, and people, today. More than usual.

In the picture is about half the people that were in the room. You can't see the folks that were behind me, a friend who was working at the computer, two students from Cal Poly, a fellow researching watercolor sketches by Eva Scott Fenyes, or the two folks who were in the archives proper.

The activity going on ran the gamut; Old Pasadena being studied for its use of "space", a presentation on the history of Black community of Pasadena, the receipt of materials from the Chamber of Commerce, and a good deal more. And that's not counting the folks that were doing special research in the archives.

A couple of my favorite Friday friends are in this picture. Laura Verlaque,Collections Manager, gives us all a good deal of lead, but makes sure that everyone who comes in gets the help they need and that historical materials are handled with the care they deserve. Sometimes it's like herding cats, but she does so with a smile, and people keep coming back - so something is working.

Dr. Lynne Emery has long been a fount of knowledge, especially when it comes to local education and women's sports. Her information just seems to go on, and on, and on. And it is always shared in a way, that hints that there is so much more to be heard. And that she will be more than willing to share more next Friday.


  1. I love that archives room. Besides the information in the books and papers, people chat instead of whisper, and more information gets shared that way. It's a friendly place.

  2. And the volunteers that are there on Fridays offer a bit of oral history once a week.