This post is from Brad Krautwurst, who is interning with the Richmond Public Library in Virginia.
After a great mini-vacation consisting of taking a few Megabuses to New York City for the weekend with my boyfriend, I am back in Richmond feeling refreshed and inspired. Most of that inspriation comes from the New York Public Library, which was fantastic and beautiful. If you are ever in New York, make sure to stop by.
Anyway, one of my duties at the library is to answer Cyberlibrarian questions. These are questions from people all over the continent, if not the world (so far I've had one from Canada, one from Seattle, and one from California) about historical events, asking for digital images of microfilms.
Microfilms are microreproductions of documents, in this case about 1/25 of the original size put on a reel of film for storage and reading. So far all I have worked with has been newspapers, but I know we have other documents. The newspapers have been fascinating enough, though.
One of the first things I was able to do with the microfilm, just to be trained on it and gain familarity with its usage, was to see what the front page of the Richmond Times Dispatch, the local newspaper here, was on the day of my birth. I admit that it is not very well captured and rather dark, but you can see how I've gotten better with the microfilms comparing these with the next ones I will show you.
Usually, as I've said, I've had to find obituaries, which always causes a weird mixture of intrigue and sadness for me, because on the one hand, I obviously have never met any of these people and it's intriguing from a distance, looking at the obituaries as a historical artifact. On the other hand, though, they always list the survivors, and I can't help but realize that on the days these obituaries were printed, those survivors were no doubt deep in grief. It's rather sobering.
On a brighter note, I've found a few articles that I thought might be of interest to people reading this blog and, with permission, have included them, though again, they are rather badly transmitted, so they will perhaps be of historical interest more than they will actually be read:
Finally, here is an ad from, again, 1988, for several movies that I found telling, in terms of movie theater tickets' costs ballooning since then.