Amazing Research Race Trifecta

February 19th, 2016 Posted in Uncategorized

Yesterday I was on an Amazing Research Race. First up was the New-York Historical Society. My goal was to find the source of a great quote from someone’s doctoral dissertation. I forgot to write down the source listed in their footnotes. Unfortunately, I found the source, checked it, but the quote wasn’t in it! So, I have to take that quote out of my book, alas.

This is the first thing I saw coming up out of the subway. That’s the American Museum of Natural History on the right and Central Park on the left. The New-York Historical Society is basically right in front of me but across the street. On to the New York Public Library …

NYHS

My goal at the library was to go through some early Annual Reports of the Commissioners of Public Charities and Correction to get some data to verify something kinda cool that I think I’ve discovered. BUT, one of the years I wanted is now stored off-site so I’d have to come back another day for that one. Full disclosure, they said there was a possibility that I could get it later in the afternoon, but since she couldn’t guarantee they’d be able to retrieve it in time and it was easy to return, I decided to press on. I had a race to win!

This is the first thing I saw when I came out of the subway this time. This is looking east on 40th Street and that’s the back of the library on the left and Bryant Park. On to …

NYPL

… the Municipal Archives, although the picture below is actually the back of City Hall across the street. My final goal of the day was to try to find out anything I could about a Blackwell’s Island cholera victim. This is sad research, but I wanted to track down the arrest record that got her onto the Island that killed her. And I found it!

Here’s the thing. I left and was halfway to the subway when I realized they might have the Annual Report at the Municipal Library that I was unable to check at the New York Public Library. But it was nearly the end of the day. I was tired. Should I see? Or, should I call it a day and just go back to the New York Public Library some other day? How could I resist? If they had it I would have made all my stops and accomplished all my goals in one day.

I walked back. First, they thought the Annual Reports were all out being scanned because they’re falling apart. But they checked. They had it!

Second, while I was waiting I noticed all these law books around me. I’ve been trying to find out more about the history of “disorderly conduct” and I asked them if they could help me. They called down a law librarian from upstairs who gave me a quick lesson about researching old laws, and she tried to find it among her resources upstairs, but she didn’t have the one text I needed. But she told me I can get it at the Brooklyn Supreme Court Public Access Law Library.

I successfully completed my three goals of the day and totally by chance I was put well on the way to accomplishing a bonus goal. And I learned about a new research source. I WIN!!

CityHall

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  1. 3 Responses to “Amazing Research Race Trifecta”

  2. By Lisa Mettauer on Feb 19, 2016

    New York looks so pretty today!

    I’m a librarian, but you take the top research award for sure!

  3. By Stacy Horn on Feb 21, 2016

    That means a lot coming from a librarian!!!!!! Thank you!! I was just crying to someone how it might take me a week to verify a few facts that will only end up being a few sentences in the book and I have to do this times a billion facts!

  4. By christine on Feb 21, 2016

    Yay! Sweet librarian Lisa!

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