Books, Books, and More Books–Everywhere, Books

LibraryErasmusThis is just a portion of the background picture on my desktop computer.  It is one of my all time favorite pictures–books, books, everywhere books.  On the right side of the picture is the ladder–one of those you see in the movies that slide along a track and provide access to the balcony which is also loaded with books.  As you can see–these stairs are used as if they are shelves filled with books.

For many years, Utah did not have a state archives building.  An archivist was hired to establish one.  He was given space in the basement of the Governor’s mansion to collect together documents and volumes of state records. When I appeared at the door to use the state archives, the large volumes of court records had been placed on the back stairs–using the stairs as shelves.

These court volumes had been inventoried by the WPA workers years earlier and actually labelled “Naturalizations.”  What I wanted, and had been unable to find, were the probate minutes of Salt Lake County. No one seemed to know what had happened to the probate records.  And since these were the only bound volumes in the archives at that time, I decided to check them out.

BINGO!  These books were actually the missing probate records.  The probate court had fulfilled all the civil court functions for Salt Lake County and recorded them all in the same volumes.  Mislabeling caused the “loss.”

Eventually Utah got not one but two buildings to house state and local records.  The original archivist was a trained microfilm cameraman.  And he persuaded the Legislature to give him the authority to film and collect the county records into the state archives.  So Utah’s local county records are filmed and many of them repose under the care of the state archivist today.

My Genealogy Library Center will probably never look exactly like my fantasy picture–because as you can see from the photo, the Library is only a one-story building.  However, parts of my one-story Library does have books spilling all over every surface–except the floor.  Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  Not to worry, I expect too make considerable progress at order in the Library this summer–my travel schedule is much lighter this year.

PPS  Note that Erasmus oversees this fantasy library from the center of the picture.  I’ll have to acquire a framed picture of Erasmus for my shop.  What fun that would be!  Recall that Erasmus said,”When I get a little money, first I buy books.  If I have any left over, I buy food and clothes.”


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