Entertainment for the troops Pt. 2

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Group portrait
Those pictured above include: Sam Hearn, actress Virginia Bruce, actress Betty Furness, Lt. Richard Barthlemess, Lt. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Jack Benny, Col. Medorem Crawford, Don Wilson, and Dennis Day.

The Jack Benny Program was a widely-known and well respected comedy series that ran for more than three decades. It ran as a radio show from 1932-1955 and as a TV show from 1950-1964. In 1943, Jack brought the show to Camp Patrick Henry to entertain the troops. Many members of the cast were involved including Eddie Anderson as Rochester, Sam Hearn as Schlepperman, Dennis Day, and Don Wilson. Other well-known performers were also in attendance.

Benny was also an accomplished violin player (his program character was known for playing violin poorly). He started playing when he was only six years old.   Read more

10,000 Items Catalogued (Cont.)

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John Taylor Wood search
Searching for John Taylor Wood in the Archives catalog

Well, now that the Library has catalogued all these items pertaining to Monitor and Virginia, how do you the reader search for them? Let’s start out by talking about the Archives catalog at www.marinersmuseum.org/catalogs. You can search here for anything that we as a museum care for. But if you want to search for these newly-catalogued Monitor and Virginia-related items, click on the “Archives” link. Once you’re there, I really recommend you read the Help. It can truly improve your searching.

Let’s say you’re interested in anything we catalogued about John Taylor Wood, who served aboard CSS Virginia. Now, I like the keyword search, but I like to limit the number of bad hits I get, so I will find a short and uncommon couple of words that go together and enclose them in quotes, like “Taylor Wood”. Select the Item Level, and hit the Search button.   Read more

Got a Maritime Research Question? Ask Us!

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The Mariners' Museum Library, circa 1944. We have come a long way since then!
The Mariners’ Museum Library, circa 1944. We have come a long way since then!

This past weekend, a reader who follows this blog wrote in a response to a blog post that was in itself a great research question.

I’m happy he asked it! We might very well have what he is looking for.   Read more

10,000 Items Catalogued (Cont.)

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Sailing Orders
“CSS Virginia Orders for Observers of Battle of Hampton Roads Reenactment” from MS0164, Irwin M. Berent Collection.

So how, you might ask, does a small Library and even smaller Photographic Services staff undertake and complete the digitization and cataloguing of 10,000 items in the space of 12 months? We may have declared victory, but victory belongs as well to a veritable army of interns and volunteers we found when the crisis was upon us. Twenty-two young men and women from around the Commonwealth came to our aid when we most needed them. They gave us anywhere between 12 and 162 hours apiece of their service. Considering how detail-oriented and repetitive the work can be, even 12 hours is grueling.They added not only much-needed labor but also a great spirit of camaraderie and good humor to the place. We are so grateful to them! And we hope they learned something about archival and library science in the mix.

I have asked a few of these volunteers to write in and tell us which piece they remembered most and why. What you will see are their own words. Here, then, is what Ashley wrote:   Read more

10,000 Items Catalogued

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IMLS
IMLS logo

Almost exactly one year ago today, staff member Aya Eto brought to your attention a project we had then just begun in earnest, a project to catalog 10,000 items relating to the construction, service, destruction, legacy, and research on the U.S. Steam Battery Monitor and the C.S. Ironclad Virginia. You can read what she wrote here and see a few of Jacob Nicklis’s letter’s home to his father. Nicklis died in the foundering of Monitor off Cape Hatteras in 1862.

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