The Gift of Gab

… eludes me (Nicole) when it comes to blog entries.

It’s true. Asked to produce a blog entry (or *gasp* two!) and I become a muted shadow of my former chatty self. What topic to chose, how to present it, and how to write it clearly and succinctly all combine to overwhelm my work-related sensibilities. There’s a reason I didn’t major in Journalism in school. In a word: deadlines. I’ve been assigned to write something interesting and engaging without spending more than 30 minutes of my time … by today at 5:30 pm! Granted, I procrastinated on my task this week, but still. Contribute an entry without endless tweaking and fussing? I think not. It offends my inner critic. That being said, “on with the blog” as they say.

Piggybacking on and adding to Arlene’s earlier posting this week, I am having fun rifling through old photo albums looking for possible contenders for our upcoming exhibits. Fun, and quite a bit of success actually, since the images selected for digitization and posting on Alaska’s Digital Archives are a mere fraction of the total number of photographs in our collections. The few chosen are just a small representation of the wealth of rich images that are often underused or unseen in the Archives. The tenacious researcher that physically paws through each collection is frequently rewarded with the odd gem here and there.

Harry I Staser family papers.

Harry I Staser family papers.

Take for example another image from the Harry I. Staser family papers, this one captioned “Gas-Mask Drill.” Most likely taken around 1940, for me this picture is the perfect blend of frivolity and seriousness, levity and anxiety, as the women methodically adjust one another’s masks in preparation for the possibility of chemical warfare. This was my “discovery” of the day, and one won’t find it online.