Wednesday, October 29, 2008

By Dad

Snipped from an online conversation about libraries:

Person A:
[My] library has just recently switched over to giving you a receipt with the due date, rather than stamping it in the book (I kind of miss that, not sure why).

Person B:
I miss the old stamping of the book, too. That, and the old circulation card with your name and due date from grade school.... It gave a sense of history to the book and its readers. You could actually see who had an interest in the book--and perhaps you even knew the person.

That reminds me ... when I was in grad school in the '90s, I requested my dad's PhD dissertation (from the '40s) through inter-university loan. I loved seeing the names/locations and dates of people who'd checked it out.

Person B:
WOW! What a wonderful feeling it must have been. And a fine tribute. What was the subject?
Title: "A Study of the Relationships Between the Secondary School Science Curriculum and the Contemporary Culture Pattern in the United States, 1918-1940"

My mom typed its 650+ pages (through several revisions), including formatting 75 data tables ... on a manual typewriter of course, through three carbons; think of how strong a typist’s hands used to have to be.

I now have Dad's personal carbon copy, and someone's eventually going to have to pry it from my cold, dead hands :) I confess that I’ve still only skimmed it. But I'm in the midst of a looong-book reading challenge (one 500+ page book each month) and still need a couple titles to fill it out...


  1. Nice! It really must have been a great feeling to read the work -- the laborious work -- of your dad. Or at least to skim through it :)

    When will your work be part of the library? On Nov 30th perhaps?

  2. Hi, MJ!
    Had some time to surf the net on voting day & came to check out your blog latest! I totally agree about the old library due date system. This new one is no fun at all (and makes me very prone to late fees). How cool about your dad's dissertation - what a great story that is.

  3. Wow, what an accomplishment for your Dad (and your Mom, too!) I love that you have his original. I agree about the old library cards. The receipt just doens't do it for me.