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12, October 2016

An Archival Challenge: The Lewis and Clark Journals

As I’ve mentioned in earlier Archives Month posts, researchers who come to the Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center can use and handle most of the documents in the archives. However, in some cases the archivists have to decline access in order to preserve the documents for the next hundred years. One such case is our collection of five original journals from the Lewis and Clark expedition. Read more »

10, October 2016

McKenney and Hall: Preserving Native Portraits for Posterity

History of the Indian Tribes of North America was first published as a three-volume folio set between 1838 and 1844. It's based on paintings that Thomas McKenney, superintendent of Indian trade for the U.S. War Department, had commissioned of leaders and others who came to Washington, DC. To reach a wider audience, McKenney decided to have lithographs made of the paintings and asked James Hall to write the biographies of the people portrayed. Read more »

6, October 2016

The Finest Dining at the Fair

Imagine you’ve been seated in a grand dining hall decorated like a Bavarian palace. As you peruse the nearly 200-item menu, you relax to the sounds of a 100-piece orchestra, nearly forgetting you’re one of 3,000 souls about to embark on a culinary journey through Germany and beyond. Read more »

5, October 2016

From Lincoln's Pen to Your Hands

I started at the Missouri History Museum as an intern in 1997, right after graduating from college with a degree in history. My first task was to help Dennis Northcott, one of the archivists, compile a guide to the Civil War manuscripts in the Archives. Previously I had viewed the 19th century as boring, but the more I read the letters and diaries of soldiers who fought in the Civil War, the more my perspective changed. Read more »

3, October 2016

What's an Archivist Anyway?

Over the years, I’ve gotten a wide range of reactions when I tell people I’m an archivist. One lady told me not to say that too loudly. To this day I don’t know why she responded that way, but I suspect she misunderstood me and thought I’d said I was an anarchist. Read more »

1, October 2016

5 Tragic Turns in St. Louis History—Part 2

Like any community, the St. Louis region has had its share of heartache over the years. Here's a look at some of the tragic moments in St. Louis history from the end of the 19th century to the end of the 20th century. Read more »

28, September 2016

With a Little Help from Her Friends

Today, we want to highlight a book close to the heart of St. Louis: The Awakening, by St. Louis–born author Kate Chopin. The book, published in 1899, was Chopin’s most famous and controversial work—it was banned for decades. Today it’s recognized as an important example of early feminist writing, but at the time it was published it was widely criticized for being too sexual, shocking, and indecent. Read more »

26, September 2016

King Baggot, the First Movie Star

The following is a guest post from Tom Stockman, editor of We Are Movie Geeks.

King of the Movies. The Most Photographed Man in the World. The Man Whose Face Is as Familiar as the Man in the Moon. These were just some of the accolades heaped upon St. Louis native King Baggot, the nation’s first male movie star. Read more »

23, September 2016

Safe Travels for the LGBTQ Community on Route 66

The heyday of travel in the United States kicked off following World War II. After wartime stresses, Americans were ready to have fun exploring their country and its many sights, particularly the westward sights along Route 66. But not every American could just jump in the car and embark on an adventure. Like their African American counterparts, gay and lesbian travelers in the 1960s had to plan their journeys wisely, ensuring they could find safe places to lay their heads at night and places where they could grab a drink or a bite to eat without fear of judgment, abuse, or arrest. Read more »

22, September 2016

Navigating Race: Route 66 and the Green Book

The words welcoming and friendly are often used when describing Route 66, but for African American travelers, cruising Route 66 could be an ordeal. They were regularly turned down when requesting a place to sleep, eat, fix their cars, or answer nature’s call. Families heading out on Route 66 would pack food, toilet paper, jugs of water, and car-repair tools, because chances were good they’d find themselves on their own even in the middle of a town. Read more »