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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Informatician Extraordinaire Goes Historical!

This spring I've been helping out my employer-public agency at a series of conferences and symposiums. We sell digital copies of maps from our archival collection as well as property and military records. There I sit at my laptop and do on-the-fly research for historians and historienteds <--Hey, I've just invented a word!!> who want to know about their grandfather's land grants. My years of training in the crucible of a checkout desk at a busy public library branch BARELY get me through the events. There's nothing like a bunch of middle-aged and elderly men crowding around simultaneously telling ancestor stories and giving me random names to look up while I and my colleague desperately try to write the orders in the arcane format required by our scanning lab! Ah, but I digress...

This is a new program wherein our agency promotes resources tailored for the given audience and potential customer. It seems to be working and I think I can take credit for some of its success. Thus far we've appeared at the Texas State Historical Association (where we presented a series of papers), the Hill College Confederate History Symposium, and the conference sponsored by Friends of the San Jacinto Battleground. There are more in the planning stages. Meanwhile, until you get a chance to chat with yours truly, the Extraordinaire, visit Save Texas History!

Can you spot The Extraordinaire in this picture?

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