By: Kristina Casper-Denman
So, I passed my quals at the end of February, 2010, and I figured, no problem! I can do archival work in no time at all and be done by 2012. Not so fast. Not all the archivists are helpful (still waiting to hear back from one place that I emailed in October 2010...), but three who were fantastic were (in no particular order) the Denver Public Library, UC Riverside, and San Diego State.
What were the highlights? Denver had exactly one sheet of paper that I could use. The listings said they had a folder with correspondence, and they did, but it was a half-sheet letter which was interesting but not really worth the trip just for that. Went to Tocabe, the fry bread restaurant to make myself feel better. It worked.
UC Riverside has an enormous collection thanks to the Costo family, and that was well worth the trip, plus they have an enormous room for work and local baskets on display. San Diego State's Rouillard Collection scans materials for you for free, and you can either email the pdf to yourself or they'll put it on a thumb drive if you bring one. Everyone was delightful at all three facilities. Special kudos to SDSU, since they had contstruction in their library the day I visited, and they made special accomodations.Side trip to the Riverside Metropolitan Museum for their exhibit on contemporary Native women artists, which was an entire room. Amazing artwork!http://www.riversideca.gov/museum/beyond-craft.asp
Most annyoing question I keep getting? "Are you done with your dissertation yet?" Um, yeah, just about. Not even close. It's a great process but life keeps getting in the way. It'll be done when it's done, and I'm grateful for the opportunity.