Today I’m working at the Rare Books and Manuscripts division of the New York Public Library.
The Stephen A. Shwarzman building looks like a piece of Hogwarts right in the heart of New York City.
The building is open to the public most days during reasonably convenient hours.
I can’t believe I’ve lived most of my life in New York and never until today been into the library building.
I also can’t believe that I’m working in a private section of a public building which requires a special appointment, special passwords, and special knowledge of the interior workings of the system to access. When I leave the reading room to grab a drink of water or take a break, I have to walk across a beautiful rotunda filled with works of art that defy description and many gaping tourists taking pictures of them. When I return to the reading room, I have to go down back alley corridors, ring a special bell, and get a wave-in from one of the archivists because “she’s with us”.
Last night, while on the phone with my best beloved, I actually used the phrase “I’m in the
field…”. This makes me think of Indiana Jonesing my way through temples filled with traps and pitfalls all to find the Golden Idol of Treasure sitting atop some elaborate dais. This metaphor seems reasonably accurate to what I’m actually doing at the moment so I think that I’ll leave it that way. In case you get bored, just imagine me with my bullwhip and fabulous hat swinging my way through Times Square shouting “It belongs in a museum!”.
…you really won’t be so very far off from the truth.
….and now back to the big dig.