October 31, 2017 – “The Sources You Are Looking For Are In Another University”

Welcome and Happy Halloween to those who celebrate it!

Festive activities were being operated throughout the day, but that did not stop the work of an intern. A slight addition to the O’Shaughnessy Collection was made, significant progress in researching the history of the Crosses of Military Service was added, and a delay in further research presented itself are among the highlights of the day. As details are important, it would be best to break down these “headline titles.”

Things were lively at the archives as the department was transformed into Imperial Archives from Star Wars: Rogue One and guests could try their hand at stealing the Death Star plans. A board was set up with cards that had pictures of the discs used in the Imperial Archives on the Planet Scarif. Participants had to pick one and flip it over to see if they picked the right one. If they did, they got a star crunch candy. If they did not, then they got other candies like spicy Starburts. While that was happening in the background, my work continued.

The first order of business was to clear my folder. The excess materials were placed in the processed file of the O’Shaughnessy Collection. However, while doing so, it was discovered that there was a newspaper article featuring Michael O’Shaughnessy from 2006 in the processed file. Naturally, that meant it needed to be added to the collection. After placing it in the appropriate folder in the collection and changing the file heading slightly, all that had to be done is replicate the edit in the finding aid and this took no time at all. Ms. Rubin said that sometime next week that the O’Shaughnessy Finding Aid will be available online. When it is, a link will be provided in the blog (and added to my resume). With the O’Shaughnessy Collection ready for the public (hopefully), work on the United Daughters of the Confederacy medals continued.

I continued my research into the history behind the medals by browsing through the Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the United Daughters of the Confederacy reports from 1919, 1921, and 1922 to discover how the Cross of Military Service was created. It was a suggestion by the President-General, Mary B. Poppenheim, to create “a suitable medal” comparable to the Southern Cross of Honor after speaking to American Expeditionary Force officers of Confederate descent. A Committee was created to perform the task and sculptor Chester Beach of New York was hired to create the design. This design is kept from the World War Two version to the present. While this fleshed out the history of the medals, progress in this department hit a sudden stop.

While researching the Philippine Insurrection Cross of Military Service, the crucial Minutes of the Annual Contention of the United Daughters of the Confederacy reports regarding the history of the medal is not readily available. Its sad because this medal and Spanish-American War medal did not use the the Beach model, but instead was modeled after the Southern Cross of Honor even though it was created in the 1930s. It would be nice to get a hold of the information. The University of Wisconsin-Madison have the reports that are needed and I have reached out to them. Hopefully, they are can help me. But, I was able to accomplish the task of printing and filing the pictures Chris Saclolo took of the medals in their original display case.

At the end of the day, I accompanied Ms. Rubin and visited the other departments in the library to pick up some candy. Since it was mostly Star Wars-themed, we were given a “Galactic Passport” that we placed stickers of the stops we visited. After making our rounds, we returned to the office and it time for me to leave.

Before signing off, an important announcement has to be made: I have finally reached one hundred fifty hours and that means two weeks from now I will hit the maximum of one hundred eighty hours. Whatever progress that has been made on the research of the medals will be added to a newly created finding aid for them by the end of my internship. Stay tuned for Friday’s shenanigans, but until then stay safe and enjoy the rest of the day.

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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