Thursday, January 31, 2008

Good News, Bad News for the Archives Profession

Let's start with the good news. I work in Washington, DC. Most of my faithful readers know where. So allow me to step out from behind the curtain to highlight one of my colleagues, who is also a real hoot. She will also be on the program when MARAC travels to lovely Chautauqua, New York in the spring. (I have been given assurances the lake will no longer be frozen.) Imagine my surprise when I picked up the Washington Post on Sunday and happened to note on the front page of the jobs section (a section that neither Mrs. BA or I read regularly - we have jobs that we like) a side bar article titled, "Among Fragile Records The Archivists Reign." "Ms. P" points out in the article, "the job requires "patience and a sense of humor" as well as the ability to work independently and search for answers in all kinds of fragile materials." I guess I am doing the right kind of work.

So, bad news. I used to work in New York, but not at the New York State Archives. Let me state for the record, I do not know this individual. But he certainly gives the profession a bad name. Take your pick on any of the links below.Or you can do a Google News search for New York State Archives theft or some variation and get all the latest updates. Those of us in government services are paid well for what we do, as you can see in the article regarding Connie, and even to learn what Mr. Morello was being paid. I could wax on philosophically about how we are the keepers of the flame, that we are supposed to protect the knowledge. But I am stunned to read how this individual stole these items to pay his daughter's credit card debt. For shame, sir. For shame.

In other news, my father arrived today. Tomorrow he is on his own in Washington, DC, so if you see a lost 79-year old on the National Mall, call me. Saturday, we may head toward Annapolis to see the Naval Academy or in the other direction to see how the Marines do museums.


Anonymous said...

What a lowlife!


Unknown said...

Ms. P was at A2 this week. She didn't say a word. Have you gone down to congratulate her?

When is your rotation done?

Lana Gramlich said...

I was sad to read about the renegade archivist, too. People like this need to get off our planet. Hope you're having a great time with your Dad. :)

Brave Astronaut said...

For those who may be interested, here's the lowlife's handwritten confession.

C - I have been down to see Ms. P a few times (in fact I brought her a copy of the above confession and told her that she had been "outed" on the blog). I am here for another two weeks.

Lana - It certainly does make it hard for us to do our job, when only the bad seeds get the press, hence my coupling the story with the good one. Dad is back on LI by now, having reported that he did indeed have a good time.

Anonymous said...

I read the confession. Jail time? Restitution - worthless - since the documente are irreplacable.