11:39 AM

Today a new case of empty archival boxes arrived! I hear ya, “Why do I need empty expensive boxes, can’t any box do?” Well, no, if you plan to have your collection for the future generations. Last month at the Ephemera Society's conference I attended a lecture about protecting documents and was reminded I have to work this into my budget. Paper’s worse enemy is excess moisture, mold, mildew, plastic, cardboard, oils from hands, mishandling and even to my surprise I learned wood might release acid.

I confess in the past I have used left over boxes …..but long since had switched to archival acid free plastic sleeves and had been storing them in a  maple12 drawers (36”X40”) flat file I had made by some Quaker’s in Lancaster Pa. that would allow me to lay flat newspapers. I had lined my file with unbleached board cloth so the newspapers weren’t touching the wood, but, now I realized this wasn’t really protecting them, so I needed to do something.

Another big concern I have is damaging pieces while looking for one document in a pile. Until now, I haven’t committed myself to any set chapters or focus and allowed the research to led me…..yes since 1991..... So, unlike some historians who set out to prove x,y & z, I started with no perceived conclusions what I’d find- guess it is the social worker in me. That makes a much more interesting book because Arabia’s consignee’s moved around and aren’t rooted just the landing their merchandise was suppose to be unloaded. Now, that I have definated chapters, I can begin cataloguing my collection into record groups and storing them properly.

Let me leave you with one puzzle, I know the answer, but can you figure it out? Touch the image and enlarge for better viewing.

As you can see by the document above J. B. Stutesman was the President of the Florence Land Company and a daguerreotype from my husband’s collection as an extra hint.

This Land Share comes from my vast collection about Florence, Nebraska. If you look at the consignee list I downloaded, Florence Neb had 20,000 feet of lumber for Keller. I purchased these from “Butch” [A Armstrong Jr] who had acquired them from Burnice Fiedler, a post card dealer in Omaha who died about 12 years ago. She sold most of her collection to Creighton University. 

The query is....If J B. Stutesman was the President of the company that founded Florence, Nebraska, why was he having 202 packages dropped off at his store in Omaha called Stutesman & Donnel:Comission Merchant & DG and not directly to Florence?