My Job….An Update

I haven’t talked about my job on here recently and since I haven’t been able to come up with a better topic to write about since my last post it seems like a great time for an update! I am still working at the Indiana Historical Society and loving it! I finished a large cataloging project back at the beginning of the year and have since started on a similar yet completely different project since then. My original project involved updating and making corrections to the current records for the clipping files collection. This collection is massive and took me almost 7 and a half months to do. It is pretty just a mish-mash of different newspaper clippings and other manuscript materials on a variety of topics, some world related others specific to Indiana counties. Not only did I have to make corrections to the records, I also had to go through each file and put the clippings in order by date. This way I had the right date for the record and also made it more chronological for patrons to look through. Everyday my finger tips would become discolored from the ink and had a weird, but comforting, old paper smell.

I thought I was finally free of inky fingers and old paper smell, but my next project was more clipping files, but different. The project I am working on now is our Black History Biography Project and is made up of clipping files of notable black people from Indiana and from the United States. These files are different because I am creating the entire record from scratch. I get to do a little research on the people, write out my own descriptions, and add my own tags. It has been extremely interesting learning more about Black History. I mean there are the usual suspects like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Madame C.J. Walker, but there are also just random Indiana natives tossed into the mix as well. I’ve learned about two brother detectives who would have made a great buddy cop show, I’ve learned about women striving to make their communities better, and I’ve learned about black history in Indiana as a whole.

Moving on to my second job at IHS, digitization! At the beginning of the year I worked on the Indiana at 200 collection which involved editing and uploading various iPhone pictures taken all over the state. After I wrapped that up, I started working on adding different images to different collections. These came from orders made by patrons that the digitization department decided would be great additions to the online collection. A lot of the images were World War I postcards that featured towns, soldiers, battles, and more. There were also a bunch of World War I letters from the collection, the saddest one about a soldier who died of the flu on November 1st, 1918. He had written in October, the family hadn’t heard from him and wrote him when news broke the war was over, the letter detailed how happy they were and they couldn’t wait for him to come over. The next letter was written by a family friend a couple of weeks later after they found out he wouldn’t be coming home.

IMG_0668I finished that project and have gone back to working on good old Larry Foster. The Larry Foster collection is an extremely large collection of images taken by Larry Foster throughout his photography career. When I first started working on this project and for the digitization department, we were on his World War II photographs. But since there were a lot of folks working on uploading, the folks who do the actual digitization couldn’t keep up and we ran out of boxes, i.e. the other projects. Now that I am back to Larry, the war is over and we have entered into the 1950’s. The photos are still pretty interesting but not World War II interesting. A lot of the images are of old local Indianapolis businesses and the Indiana State Fair. There are still quite a few famous 1950’s actors and actresses like Bob Hope and Barbara Stanwyck. You never know what is going to pop up next and its always surprising.

My position here is only part-time (29 hours a week) and it isn’t permanent (2-3 years at most), unless more funding comes through. I’ve loved working here though and have learned so much in my first year working in the museum field. I continue to apply to various jobs that interest me that are full-time but nothing has bitten yet. But I won’t give up hope and I’ll just keep on chugging away at IHS!

 

Advertisements

Old Hollywood Part II

I love history and I love that I have a job where I get to work with history every day! So in continuing with my previous post which you can read here. I am going to share another Old Hollywood post.

Indianapolis was a hub for War Bond rallies, special performances, national ceremonies and more. Many famous faces walked around Monument Circle, shook peoples hands, and posed for pictures all in the name of the war effort.download-5 It strange to see famous faces standing somewhere I could go stand right now if I wasn’t typing this blog. One of the most entertaining images I have come across features the famous duo, Abbott and Costello. The pair came to Indianapolis for a comedy performance and to raise money for war bonds. The pair was a comedy act best known for their running gig, “Who’s on First?”. They touched all forms of entertainment during their long careers including vaudeville, radio, television, and film. They both got their start as burlesque comedians, and no they didn’t shake their groove things like the ladies. They were in-between acts of the ladies shaking their groove things. I have always been really interested in burlesque dancing, but I myself cannot dance and therefore will never have a burlesque career. The pair actually met during a burlesque performance when Costello’s regular partner became ill and Abbott took his place. They became fast friends and their careers sky-rocketed from there.

During their first radio performance, the listeners had a hard time telling them apart by voice to Costello adopted his famous high-pitched voice to help them out. They went on to movies starting with One Night in the Tropics. They had supporting roles in the film but stole the show with their funny banter and routines. They would go on to star in their own films as well as others, totaling 36 films and making them the highest paid duo in Hollywood. They also made regular television and radio appearances throughout their careers. They landed their own television show, The Abbott and Costello Show, and it ran from 1952-1954 on NBC.

It was in the 1950’s that Abbott and Costello’s popularity began to wane. The two had their demons, including drinking, gambling and on-going health problems. download-4Though the pair presented themselves as best friends, they did suffer a rift in 1945 over a petty argument involving a housekeeper who Abbott had hired after she was fired by Costello. The two didn’t make up until Abbott volunteered for Costello’s charity for underprivileged children. There was tension between the two and their acts just weren’t as popular anymore, thanks in large part to the amount of films the pair had done using the same comedy routines. The pair was dropped by Universal in 1955 after having to back out of a film due Abbott’s ongoing health concerns. They were then investigated by the IRS which forced them to sell off a good chunk of their personal belongings and their own homes. By 1957, the pair officially split.

Costello went on to have a somewhat successful solo career but died in 1959 due to a heart attack. Before his death he appeared multiple times The Steve Allen Show, he appeared in episodes in GE Theatre and Wagon Train, and he completed a film titled The Thirty Foot Bride of Candle Rock.

Abbott attempted a comedic duo comeback with Candy Candido in the sixties but quit despite good reviews. His reasoning was that no one could ever live up to Costello. He appeared in one episode of GE Theatre and voiced himself in the cartoon entitled Abbott and Costello. He died in 1974 of cancer.

Despite how things ended for the duo and their personal troubles there is no comedic duo that can ever live up to Abbott and Costello!

*All images are from the Larry Foster Collection at the Indiana Historical Society.

World War II and Old Hollywood

I think I’m going to start a World War II series about Indiana on the home front. In one of my roles at the Indiana Historical Society, I work on researching and uploading images to the the online digital images collection. The big project we are working on right now is from a photographer named Larry Foster, who took thousands of images of from the 30’s to the 60’s but the main focus is on the events that unfolded in Indiana during World War II.

images

One of the first things I loved about working on this collection were all of the pictures featuring famous actors and actresses from Old Hollywood that came to Indiana for special events like War Bond Rallies. My first greatest encounter was Carole Lombard. An Indiana native who made it big in Hollywood as a comedic actress and became the highest paid actress of her time. She even wound up marrying Clark Gable, one of my favorite actors especially for his portrayal as Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind. Their love was and always has been described as true love. Friends and family commented on how content and stable the couple had felt when they were together. Her movie roles include Twentieth Century, My Man Godfrey (for which she was nominated for an Academy Award), Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and To Be or Not To Be (her final film).

download-1

The sale of war bonds were extremely critical in helping fund military operations and other expenditures all while helping to keep inflation down by taking money out of circulation. Many actors and actresses were keen to lend a helping hand to their nation. January 15th 1942 Carole Lombard stopped in her home state to attend a war bond rally. Her efforts here would raise a record-breaking 2 million dollars. The image to the right shows Carole at the war bond rally. The image was taken by Larry Foster and comes from his collection at the Indiana Historical Society.

Eager to get home to California, Carole convinced her mother and her agent, Otto Winkler, to take a flight back instead of the train as they had planned. The decision was made by flipping a coin since her mother and Winkler we afraid of flying. The plane stopped over in Las Vegas to refuel and shorty after take-off crashed into Double-Up Peak killing everyone on board.

Carole’s career was cut-short and Clark Gable was left devastated in the wake of her death. He intended to sue the airline but settled out of court for $10 as he did not want to relive his grief. Gable then enlisted in the army, something Carole always wanted him to do, where he manned a motion picture battalion that filmed air battles but he also flew in 5 missions himself. Upon his death in 1960 from complications following a heart attack, Gable was interred beside Carole despite being married twice after he death. Many commented that after Carole died he was never quite the same.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACarole was scheduled to appear in They All Kissed the Bride before her death and her role was subsequently given to Joan Crawford. Joan Crawford donated all of the money she earned from this role to the Red Cross who had worked to recover the bodies from the plane’s wreckage.

 

Two years after her record-breaking bond drive, a Liberty Ship entitled the USS Carole Lombard was launched. This ship would go on to the Pacific Theater where it was responsible for rescuing hundreds of sailors from sunken ships.

Larry Foster captured dozens of photos of Carole Lombard during her time in Indianapolis for the war bond rally, little did he know that he was taking some of the last images of the famous actress.

Larry Foster’s entire collection can be viewed here:

http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16797coll35

A Full Week

This week is the first full week of my new schedule at the historical society. I will be working Monday through Thursday, Monday and Tuesday as a cataloging technician and Wednesday and Thursday as a digital resource assistant. It was pretty hard waking up Monday at 5 a.m. when I am so used to getting to sleep in and I thought the day would go by so slow but it went by so fast! I am still working with the newspaper clippings on the cataloging front and yesterday things were so challenging that it kept me really busy. The whole point of re-doing the clipping files is because when the historical society transferred to a new system, the records for these files did not transfer correctly. Some just have the wrong dates of need more tags, while other don’t exist at all or connected to the wrong record. I wasn’t running into too many issues until I got to the S’s (I am working backwards through the alphabet). Every other one has had something wrong with it!

Last Thursday I was trained on how to do my new position as a digital resource assistant. It was nice to interact with the digitization department and I love the work. The historical society received a huge donation of Larry Foster photographs, and by huge I mean thousand upon thousands. The images have all been scanned in by another department and it is up to the digitization team to catalog the ones that are going to be put in the digital images catalog for the public to do. A lot of the work is very similar to my cataloging position which made it easier for me to learn. The biggest difference, and the thing I love the post, is that I get to write descriptions for the photographs! I get to write out a little blurb about the photograph and the history behind it. Sometimes this requires research and the history nerd in me probably goes a little overboard with it. If there is nothing to research, I get to write my own description just based off what the image shows. It’s like getting to write out a little short story every time!

I’ve been trying to make the hard decision to splurge on myself and buy some new cloths or if I should splurge and monetize my blog or if I should splurge on a gaming PC and start streaming on Twitch again. I very rarely spend money on myself and it has been almost a year since I bought any new clothes.But the last two options might bring in a little money in the long run. Decisions, decisions.

Things Change Quickly

It is amazing how one day you are on a certain path and then the next day the path takes a strange turn and you end up going a different way then you intended. Sometimes this new way can be intimidating but will lead you right where you want and need to be.  In my last post, I mentioned an interview at IUPUI as a part-time data specialist. Well, I was offered the job and was then bombarded with a massive amount of paperwork and a to-do list before I even started. I slowly worked my way through both, the last thing being the I-9 form. I actually had to go to campus to complete the forms, so I scheduled a time to come when I was at IHS because they are minutes from each other. I took the time off to walk 1.5 miles to campus only to find out the person was not there and no one else could help me. I walked back to IHS, sat down and got back to work. Not even 15 minutes later I was speaking with the Director of Digitization about a position I had applied for in her department. She wanted to check with me on hours. They can’t make me full-time because it is grant funded but wanted to split my time between my current position as a cataloging tech and new position as a digital resource assistant. I was so excited! In all honesty, I only took the IUPUI position for money and already hated it just because of all of the work I had to do just to start there. I immediately e-mailed the people at IUPUI and explained the situation and told them I could no longer except there offer. I start training for my new position next week! The IHS has a really cool digital images collection, containing both recent and extremely old photographs, and I might actually get to do some research as well!

I’m going to geek out about something really quick so excuse me for a minute. As a cataloging tech I was working on cataloging pamphlets in the collection. This pams have been sitting around for years, I mean some since the 50’s, and have never made it into the catalog. It was interesting work but inconsistent and sometimes very boring. On Tuesday, I officially ran out of pams and received a new task! And I lov120316_newspaper_clippingse it! The resource library has a huge collection of newspaper clippings. Recently staff noticed huge discrepancies (i.e. different formats, wrong dates, newly added clippings, etc.) in the way they were cataloged and my supervisors have just started working to correct it. Topics range widely from abortions to zebra mussels so it is something different every time I open a folder. What I really like about this is that I get to go through the folders and sort them by date. I am a huge nerd when it comes to organization so this is seriously awesome. Also just reading the headlines and seeing what people saved from newspapers is extremely interesting. It’s not only clippings but I’ve also read a Life magazine from WWI and a New Yorker from the 1930s.

I am slowly working on my personal statements for my grad school application and as am going to contact my old professors for letters of recommendation soon. I know if promised the first installment of He and She awhile ago but I swear it is going up tonight! Things have been going so good lately it’s amazing. I have two great positions at a great institution, I have two awesome pupper dogs, and an amazing boyfriend.

13680607_10153927519044075_1298600085020068022_n

Another Job Opportunity

I almost forgot about my poor blog! The first chapter of He and She is done and will be publishegiphyd on here later this week. I am too nervous to share it with anyone I know so I will be sharing it with my Twitch followers. There aren’t many since I haven’t streamed in quite awhile due to technical difficulties but hopefully it will pull some readers in and be shared by them! It took me awhile to get Tyler to read it and when he finally did it right in front of me and made me nervous. Besides making fun of some of my errors, he actually enjoyed it and said there needed to be more. That made me feel so good about it and now I can’t wait to start on the next story.

I am still working away at the Indiana Historical Society but am looking for other opportunities as well. I have mostly been applying to part-time positions that will work with my current schedule at IHS but I have applied for a few full-time positions as well. The one I am most excited about is a curator position at a small county history museum. It would be a great starting point for me and the museum sounds like a great place to work. In the meantime, I have an interview coming up tomorrow as a part-time date specialist for the admissions department at IUPUI. It isn’t exactly what I want to be doing but it is a temporary position and will help pay the bills until I can find something else (if I even get the job!).

Since my last post, I made a pretty big decision regarding my future career iu_lgpath. I have decided to attempt to get my PhD in Ancient History. It is taking a lot of work just to apply, I can’t imagine what the actual schooling part is going to be like. The hardest part of all, I have to take the GRE again. If you have ever taken the GRE, you know how much it sucks. I am struggling with the math and it is taking up most of my study time. I still have to write my personal statements and contact old professors for letters of recommendation. I want to have  my personal statements done before I e-mail my professors so I can send them a copy as well to help with their letter writing process. I am really excited to go back to school and study an area I am extremely passionate about. The only downside is more student loan debt, but who knows maybe I will win the lottery soon!

 

An Age Old Problem

This week was pretty big on the job front. On Monday, I interviewed for a year long, grant-funded position at the Carmel Clay Historical Society as an Archival Collections Manager. In this position, I would get the chance to work hands-on with actual historical objects! The interview went great, or at least I think it did. We talked at a small cafe and then we walked down to see where the collection is kept/where I would be working. It was an adorable tiny home that was converted to hold the collection. The lady that interviewed me was so easy to talk to and I felt comfortable there. I sent a Thank You e-mail the other day but haven’t gotten a response. It makes me nervous. This position would be perfect for me and I know that I would excel at it. It would also work great in my schedule with the position I have now since it too would be part time. I find it really interesting that, if I were to get this position, I would be making almost 500 dollars a month more than what I made at my full-time position.

13524528_10153851870019075_1766428630714733640_n

I spent two full days (Tuesdays and Wednesdays) at my position at the Indiana Historical Society this week and loved it. Tyler and I carpooled this week which was nice. Technically my hours are supposed to be from 8-4 but since Tyler has to be at work at 7:30, I am usually at work at 7:30. It’s not that big of an issue because I get to leave early. We will run into a snag next week because of an assigned Reading Room shift from 2-4 on Tuesdays so Tyler will have to wait on me for a half an hour but it means I can get of a half an hour early on Wednesday (but then I have to wait 30 minutes for him…….).

The biggest issue I am running into at this position is that there really doesn’t seem to be a whole lot for me to do. I run out of things to work on pretty often and then have to go bother my supervisor for more work to do. On Wednesday, I tried to take more time to complete the tasks I was given but still ran out of things to do for the last hour I was there. Maybe I need to ask for more responsibility but I feel like it is still too soon for that. On the plus side, I get to listen to audio books while I work. I finished Harry Potter this week and started on Game of Thrones.13557842_10153847571214075_8415661033488085956_n

Yesterday was nice and relaxing at home with the dogs and today I went and looked at apartments in case we do need to move. We still haven’t heard back from our current complex about rent negotiations so who knows. I went to 4 different apartment complexes and fell in love with too, liked one, and nixed the other. There is one I love more than the other but Tyler wants to do more research on cost.

It was during my apartment search that the Age Old Problem came in to effect. I am just not making enough money at my current position to afford rent, my car payment, bills, gas and groceries. The first three would be taken care of but it is the other two I am worried about. It makes me nervous that maybe I should have held out for a better position. I know that if I get the position at CCHS I will be fine but if not, I will not be. I started looking for other jobs again just in case but I can’t shake this anxiety. I am just trying to keep good vibes until I hear back about the second position.

I am struggling with He and She. Not the actual story itself but finding the motivation to work on it when I can. It is also taking me a lot longer to write the first story but it is coming along nicely. I just need to find my mojo!

A New Job….

Today marks the end of my first week at my new job! I am currently working at the Indiana Historical Society as a cataloging technician. It has been a fun and interesting week. My first and second day were full of doubt and the thought that maybe I shouldn’t have taken this job. It is part-time, extreme part-time, only 15 hours a week. I had originally planned to work 3 days a week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) for five hours a day, but it doesn’t make sense for me to drive downtown (a 30 minute drive on a good day) that many times a week. So I will be working Tuesdays and Wednesdays for a full shift. The pay is decent but the pay schedule is weird, once a month at the end of the month. I began to think maybe I should have held out to find a better full time position in a different museum in Indianapolis or outside of Indiana. I was hoping to work more hands on with the collection and research too. My third day was excellent. I love sitting in my work space, listening to Harry Potter on audio and cataloging the collection. I get to catch little snippets of whats available and I am surrounded by historical objects all day! I also get to work downtown and I seriously love it downtown.

I also ran across another part time opportunity at another historical society in Carmel and have an interview set up for Monday. I would be one of two Archival Collections Managers and would get to work hands on with the collection there. I am so excited that all of my dreams of working in cultural institutions are starting to come true and this is only the beginning! I do miss my friends from my previous job but we still talk everyday and I can’t wait to get together with them soon!

Another issues that has popped up this week is our apartment. It was recently purchased, renamed and upgraded. Empty units that have been completely updated (new floors, new washer and dryer, fresh paint) are going for over 200 dollars of what we pay now. In our unit we got a partial upgrade (new kitchen appliances, new counter tops, new doors, somewhat updated kitchen cupboards, fresh paint, doors and fixtures but the cupboards themselves are the old ones) but not the whole Monty. We went to the office and discussed our continuing to rent here, our lease is up in September. They then inform us our rent is going up to 777, which isn’t bad but then they start telling us about all the add-ons we now have to pay for. Water and sewage, which is a range because each unit doesn’t have its own water meter and is based on apartment occupancy. So let’s say Tyler and I use very little water but our neighbor downstairs who lives by herself uses a shit ton of water, we would have to pay more than she does. The range they gave us is 35-75 which is still just a guess. We will also now be required to pay pet rent, we didn’t have to before, and it is 25 a dog (but they did say they would try to get it taken off since we don’t have the new flooring and won’t be getting it). Finally, they will be getting rid of all the dumpsters and switching to a compactor and that is another 10 dollars a month. That puts us way out of our price range and other neighbors have been fleeing ever since the changes. It would make more sense if the insulation and windows were dealt with too in the upgrades. Heating and cooling these apartments in the peak of winter and summer can be upwards of 200 dollars. So it looks like we will be moving. It stresses me out just to think about packing this place up. I love it here and have loved it here since the day I moved in.

Sorry for the rant but it has been frustrating…..

The first story of He and She is coming along nicely and I am going to dedicate more time to work on, especially tomorrow since I have the day off.