“I Said Parent’s Blood … not Parrot’s”

Interlibrary loan is an amazing thing. Doing my book research for the last while, I often come across references to books that I want to take a look at, but that I don’t want to buy myself. My first go-to, of course, is my local library. When that doesn’t pan out,  I only need to get on my library’s website, enter the interlibrary loan section, and fill out a form describing what I want. The process is pretty slick. The timeframe from when I request and when I receive the book varies. Sometimes it is a week; for the more obscure ones it can be longer. It, however, has never failed me. Books come from college, public, and school libraries. They come from theological institutions and the Library of Congress. Seriously! Isn’t it amazing that a book is pulled off a shelf hundreds of miles away; tracked and transported to where it needs to go, received and packaged at my local library, and I am contacted to tell me that my request is available. Then, when I am finished, it makes its way back to where it came from. All this for the price of my free library card. I am not the only one who marvels at this. The last ILL book (that’s the shorthand we users use) that I checked out, the librarian told me he had to look at where it came from because it was so cool to think about. Right on, guy! Here are some of the treasures that I have received.

Book Flesh and blood : organ transplantation and blood transfusion in twentieth-century America / Lederer, Susan E.
Book Hope and suffering : children, cancer, and the paradox of experimental medicine / Krueger, Gretchen Marie.
Book Should the patient know the truth? A response of physicians, nurses, clergymen, and lawyers, Standard, Samuel, ed.
Book Childhood leukemias /
Book When treatment fails : how medicine cares for dying children / Bearison, David J.
Book Pediatric psychooncology : psychological perspectives on children with cancer /
Book Bitter, bitter tears : nineteenth-century diarists and twentieth-century grief theories / Rosenblatt, Paul C.
Book The neighborhoods of Queens / Copquin, Claudia Gryvatz, 1961-
Book A little girl’s gift. Elliott, Lawrence.
Book Passage through crisis; polio victims and their families. Davis, Fred, 1925-
Book Hives of sickness : public health and epidemics in New York City /
Book God, Medicine & Suffering Stanley Hauerwas
Book The business of crime : Italians and syndicate crime in the United States / Nelli, Humbert S., 1930-
Book Sing Sing Prison / Cheli, Guy.
Book The Italians of Greenwich Village : the social structure and transformation of an ethnic community / Tricarico, Donald.
Book New York herald tribune.
Book New York world-telegram.
Book The sun.
Book Daily news.
Book New York herald tribune.
Book New York world-telegram.
Book The sun.
Book Sing Sing doctor / Squire, Amos O. (Amos Osborne), b. 1876.
Article Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.: The Natural History of Untreated Acute Leukemia TiveySome have been fairly current ones. Some, it has been clear that I am the first one to check it out in many, many years. The old school card pocket, holding the check out cards sometimes contain date dues of many moons past.

Some have been fairly current ones. Some, it has been clear that I am the first one to check it out in many, many years. The old-school card pocket holding the check out cards sometimes contain due dates of many moons past.

As cool as all of the books have been, however, it is the newspapers that completely make my library geekster roll. When I get a personal (never the usual recording) call from a librarian at the beautiful downtown library, informing me that microfilm is waiting for me at the reference desk to use free of charge, it is the best moment of the day.

The microfilms typically come from the stately New York Public library. They are packaged and marked and waiting for me. I slip them into the microfilm reader, and start whirling through the days.

I can’t say that I am a big fan of microfilms. They are hard usually dark and hard to read. The machines are quirky. Copying images make the quality even worse. Nicholson Baker wrote an excellent book about the nonsense that was the whole microfilm rage. That being said, when this is my only access to the papers, I can suspend that dislike and revel in the content. (Although, should I win the lottery, I would definitely take a trip here for some research fun.)

Because newspapers are not well indexed, finding things that you are looking for isn’t easy. This means that one must scan pages of news to find the thing the pearl. For me, that has meant that I spend a lot of time reviewing the news in 1932, 1933 and 1949. That isn’t a bad thing.

Journalists wrote differently back then. Stories oozed drama. Many feel gossipy and “as overheard.” I read some stories that made me need to follow day after day of coverage. I needed to find out what happened next! I tucked away a few things that I think would make a good next project. And then, there are some treasures that I just need to print out just because they make me laugh each time I read them. This has to be my favorite:

Parrot Blood vs Parent Blood

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