Day 4: I think I know the location of ark of the covenant
Today I got to go on a field trip to the NY State Museum‘s off-site storage facility!! I got driven out with some of the Museum’s employees in a passenger van to Rotterdam, about 30 minutes away, where the Museum stores the majority of its artifacts in this old ammunitions bunker. It was quite cool: a giant warehouse filled with items as far as the eye could see. Anything you could think of was in this place: furniture, cars from every era, boats, circus gear, clothing – and the Willard suitcase collection of course (pictured)!
Today I got to see some of the materials from the Willard and Utica collections: nurses’ uniform, a shawl a patient used in 1890, the bars from a window, tables, chairs, a grandfather clock, bookcases, etc. And this was only just the tip of the collection!
The rest of the afternoon was spent back with the annual report drudgery – I’m now working my way through Utica (yesterday was Willard’s reports). Also headed down to the New York State Library, down a few floors from the Archives, to look through some of the catalogues and prices lists from the prisons that show the items they made and sold to other public institutions: furniture, clothing, kitchen items (I hadn’t realized these types of documents existed)
Evening went well too – I met another researcher and we headed to the Albany Pump Station for a beer and dinner. It’s located in the original brewery and the building dates to 1874 – perfect place for historical researchers to go after a day at the archives!