Diary of a Call Slip Girl
Episode one: Boot Camp, History Style
Being a library clerk at the Virginia Historical Society isn’t dangerous nor is it glamorous. But what it lacks in intrigue is made up in call slips. The library is “closed stacks,” which means everything is behind the scenes and needs to be requested on calls slips, and that makes me and my partner in crime indispensable to your research. Some days we get the routine requests for Civil War regimental histories, but other days a call slip will lead us to a treasure in our collections. This “diary” is about those unusual and exciting requests.
Let’s not wait another second! My first find is a three-volume set entitled The Army and Navy of the United States from the Period of the Revolution to the Present Day. This book was copyrighted between 1889 and 1893, so the “present day” isn’t even into the twentieth century. But these three volumes make up for that in their content and color! The images present the glory and dangers of war. The brush strokes seem to capture the reddish-orange cannon blasts and the sea-foam green of a naval battle so effortlessly. But these images are not the only treasures to be found in this set. I will let you figure out what I mean!
Forever at your request,
Call Slip Girl
Elaine Hagy is a Library Clerk at the Virginia Historical Society.