The State Archives
I spent yesterday in Lansing, with mixed success. Firstly, we caught the state archivists flat-footed, with an antiquated indexing system and archive databases that don’t interface and are impossible even for them to navigate. I’ve had to leave it with them to get in touch with me on Monday. One archivist seemed disinterested; fortunately another had the good grace to be professionally embarrassed and I am hoping the files turn up next week. I resisted my strong Russell instinct to imagine every archivist in the building to be a total idiot… a genetic trait which requires the suppression of fulmination and the urge to go back there and find the damn things myself.
It’s a frustrating setback but hopefully only temporary.
The time not spent in the archives was instead put to good use. I was given a tour of key sites in town; travelling in some style in a red Pontiac. It made a change from the Nissan Versa (grey), which I keep trying to get into on the no steering wheel side #embarrassing
Determined not to give up on the documentary evidence side of the research, I returned to the state library to look at newspaper microfiche reels. I have discovered that these give me motion sickness at the moment (as well as elevators) and are to be avoided, for now. I did manage to gain some information that can be used for contextual detail later on. I was in the library so close to closing time that I ended up locked out in a second floor open air quadrangle, trapped like a myopic Rapunzel by my own curiosity. After a bit of rushing around trying doors (locked), I finally attracted someone’s attention who let me in, so I could then exit in the usual manner. Which I did, feeling a bit of a twit and still giddy from turning the microfiche.
This is the view from the quad. One, I might add, I had taken earlier, before I thought I might be sleeping there.