Saturday, July 2, 2011

home sweet door

I was pretty excited to see the door to my own apartment. After many strange doors in strange hotels had been its stand-in, I was ready for the original. No strange bedspreads to be seen and no questionable continental breakfast either.

Not surprisingly, I've returned with one bag more than I left with. Gained items include a white cowboy hat, peach salsa, an alligator refrigerator magnet, and some postcards that still need to be sent (sorry!).

Serious questions remain - what will I do tomorrow without waffle house for breakfast? Who will give me strange directions to a campus parking lot? For the time being, I'll let all that wait and do some laundry that doesn't include a hotel room sink.
To the open road!

Friday, July 1, 2011

last working day and the grove

Today things went much better at Ole Miss. I found some interesting papers about local adaptations to national policies and some more contextual information. I think we are ending on a high note! I also took a walk through the quadrangle known as "the grove" where a major riot occurred on campus during 1962 when a student protest against the admission of the man who would be the university's first black student turned violent. Now, its a small, quiet, shaded spot with a marker for remembrance. Tomorrow I'll be back home which is an exciting thought. Its been quite a month of silly and awesome adventures. Thanks for reading along!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ole Miss is a miss

Today we drove further into Mississippi to the University of Mississippi campus which, although it was under serious summer construction, was quite beautiful. Unfortunately, my time in the archive didn't work out quite as planned. The materials I was looking for weren't found and so I'm going back tomorrow to see if I have better luck. I read some interesting and not entirely related materials in the mean time and we are thinking about a movie tonight? Its the home stretch!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Little Rock

I spent today at the history commission and at the court house working to track down precise legal descriptions of addresses and public records about real estate ownership and litigation. Lots of leads started but still much more to find out about. I worked with very helpful records keepers who explained a lot to me about how public recording has changed over the decades. I still have much to learn. In the mean time, we've driven to Mississippi where I'll be at the university through the end of the week before heading back home. Photos today of the amazingly beautiful entrance dome at the Pulaski court house in Arkansas - it was a stunner.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Today I went to the state historical commission of the state of Arkansas. Their online catalog is called CARAT - which stands for the catalog of Arkansas Resources and Archival Treasures. I thought the name was cute and catchy and was a nice play on the fact that Arkansas has the largest open pit and publicly accessible diamond mine in the country. I was excited to find out that they really do have treasures -- at least when it came to my dissertation research. They had much more material than I'd expected and had all sorts of items that I'd never seen cataloged before. That was the upside. The downside was that the materials were too fragile for copying so I sat typing out pages and pages of documents today and will be going back tomorrow for more. So much typing means no exciting photos - maybe we'll be back to images tomorrow. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

back to the grind

Monday's archive was at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The library had great materials and a super friendly and encouraging group of archivists. It was a long but productive day and when the archive closed we drove south and west to Little Rock. We knew we were heading south because Waffle Houses started reappearing. To get to Little Rock we had to drive through part of the Ozarks which were beautiful in the late day sun -- hence the above photo.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

breakfast at a casino, losing a sandal

What a day! We started out with breakfast at the local Cherokee casino which was open early and served cheap and tasty food. No complaints there. We headed next to the grocery store to get supplies for our afternoon adventure on the Illinois river. Peanut butter? Check. Water bottles? Check. Sandals? Check. Ok, then we were ready to go. We headed up to Sparrow Hawk Camp where we rented kayaks and were on the river before 11am. The river, by all accounts, was slow and lazy and people wished us a "good float" down and mentioned nothing about needing to paddle, steer, or keep our kayaks upright. Needless to say, the floating wasn't only floating. About twenty minutes in, we fought our first battle with the river and both took on so much water we had to beach our kayaks and flip them over to drain them. In the first battle, we managed to hold onto both kayaks, both paddles, and the peanut butter but only one water bottle and, sigh, only one of my sandals. Over the next three hours or so we alternated between legitimate, lovely, and lazy floating down river and paddling like maniacs against the high wind that came up periodically and pushed up upriver. Much more of an adventure than we'd bargained for, but a great afternoon nonetheless, and who needs two sandals anyway?

Tomorrow its back to work at an archive in Arkansas and then we are only on the road through the end of the week -- its the home stretch!