It is often the perception that only old “codgers” visit archival repositories. Also, that mean, stodgy “dragons” are guarding the tomes and will deny access to all but the most serious and academic searchers. That is a misperception- and I have proof.
I received a request a few weeks ago for a “civil war photograph”. A young lady from a local elementary school was working on a school project about the Civil War and was hoping to find a nice photographic addition for her poster. She avoided acquiescing to utilizing her school library’s overused materials. She wanted to dig a bit deeper; to make her poster a little different- she wanted something a bit more rare.
We did not shoo her away, insisting that our items were too fragile & valuable for handling. Quite the opposite in fact- we welcomed her request with enthusiasm and excitement that one so young would be interested in our materials. In answer to her request, we supplied her with an image taken from Lookout Mountain during the Civil War as well as a carte-de-visite of Simon Bolivar Buckner (scanned & emailed to her mother).
Thanks for going that extra mile for your research, Sarah! We hope that it paid off!
You can see the results of her work below. (And yes, those two soldiers in the top left corner are Jaime & Adam of Mythbusters fame!)