December 18, 2018 – “From Minstrelsy to the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida”

)Hello, everyone!

The University of Central Florida main campus’ ghost town-like status certainly surprises anyone who has been on campus in the midst of a semester full of activities. Only a handful of people were encountered on my way to the office and the bustling chatter of students and faculty have been replaced by the sounds of the machines dismantling Colbourn Hall. Nonetheless, the assignments at the archive continue to be carried out whether there are five hundred people or ten in the library. The list of books and publications from the Carol Mundy Collection remained my top priority and the cross-section was completed by the end of the day!

Continuing from yesterday, I tried to cross-section the remaining texts sampled from the Carol Mundy Collection. The problem encountered the most involved pamphlets or music sheets. The pamphlets often did not yield publication information (who printed the material, who published it, etc) and I was lucky enough to have a year to be provided. While the music sheets provided most of the information I sought, only the songs themselves are on WorldCat (the UCF Library Database is not even worth mentioning in this conversation). To be sure, there were some periodicals and magazines sprinkled in the mix such as Junior Scholastic (one from 1942, too), Ebony, and the Southwestern Christian Advocate.

Within this last group, the music sheets did not contain any well-known ditties or folk tunes. Since Carol Mundy collected material to African-Americana, a majority of these music sheets depicted minstrelsy – the stage act of white actors dressed in blackface that caricaturized African Americans. The sad reality that nineteenth-century and early twentieth century white Americans based their opinions of blacks came from these now-distastefully offensive jesters was not lost on me. Carol Mundy collected both the derisive and the ennobling sides of the black experience, so understanding this ugly side of history is necessary.

On a lighter note, I finished my cross-check of all these materials! Mr. Ogreten was delighted to know this and promptly assigned the next collection to me. Apparently, the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida (an organization I encountered sifting through the George L. Stuart, Jr. Collection) donates materials yearly for the collection bearing their name in the UCF Special Collections. The latest batch needed to be added to both the physical collection and the finding aid.

The materials were already divided into the state-level documents and the different regions comprised of the organizations chapters. Naturally, the first materials I began with were the state-level documents. I may have been too hasty as I did not sort the documents before attributing folder numbers and entering them into the finding aid. As a result, there is now a bit of a mess that will have to be untangled before proceeding further with the collection. Those plan had to be postponed as my shift came to end and the cart was placed back into the stacks and I bid farewell as the library closed.

In review, I finished cross-checking the material from the Carol Mundy Collection and I began working on the latest additions to the Democratic Women’s Club of Florida Collection. Tomorrow, work with the latter will continue. Until then, enjoy the evening and stay safe! Bye!

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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