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Karl Lagerfeld, 1933-2019 #KeeperoftheDay

Karl Lagerfeld, 1933-2019 #KeeperoftheDay

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#KeeperoftheDay – Karl Lagerfeld, 1933-2019

RIP Karl Lagerfeld. This legendary clothing designer was also an extraordinary keeper. As the New York Times wrote for his obituary:

“He also started collecting: furniture, books, magazines — even apartments. He would delve deep into decades and their aesthetic movements, from Art Deco to Memphis, the Bauhaus to the space age, and then discard them, auctioning off his carefully curated acquisitions without nostalgia or emotion. (It was a characteristic of his personal relationships too, according to those who knew him.)”

LBJ Library Oral History Collection #KeeperoftheDay

LBJ Library Oral History Collection #KeeperoftheDay

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#KeeperoftheDay for #PresidentsDay – LBJ Presidential Library Oral History Collection.

While doing research for our Hidden Kitchens story, Black Chef, White House, we came across an oral history done with Zephyr Wright at the LBJ Presidential Library. Wright was working as a home economics student at the historically black Wiley College in Texas when Lady Bird Johnson hired her as the family’s chef. She cooked for the Johnsons for 27 years in Texas and Washington, D.C.

In a lilting, gentle voice, Ms. Wright tells her stories:

“The first night that I met President Johnson, he was late as usual. He was always late for meals …. Now there have been times that he’d get on the phone himself and call me and ask me how long would it take to get something ready for the whole Cabinet and sometimes he’d walk in with them and you didn’t even know he’s coming. And I’ve seen a time that I’ve fixed a meal in 10 minutes for 25 or 30 people.”

President Johnson’s awareness of the difficulties Wright experienced traveling through the segregated South — the hardship and humiliation of not being served in restaurants on the road, the difficulty of finding accommodations — are believed to have influenced his work on civil rights reform and legislation.

Listen to Black Chef, White House:

Valentine, TX Public Library #KeeperoftheDay

Valentine, TX Public Library #KeeperoftheDay

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#KeeperoftheDay for Valentine’s Day – The Kay Johnson Public Library in Valentine, Texas.

Listen to this story produced by Andrea Gutierrez for the Transom Traveling Workshop in Marfa, Texas about Valentine librarian Lety Navarrete.

“I’m a writer and former educator turned radio producer in Los Angeles. In summer 2018, I headed to Marfa, TX for the weeklong Transom Traveling Workshop, where radio maestro Rob Rosenthal showed a pack of us audio newbies how to tell a story with sound. After my original interview fell apart the last minute (the guest ghosted me), I drove 30 miles west to the town of Valentine, where I remembered seeing a tiny library when I passed through on the way to Marfa. It was my luck that librarian Lety Navarrete was there and, after some hesitation, willing to chat with me.” -Andrea Gutierrez

Mrs. Conti’s Florist Shop #KeeperoftheDay

Mrs. Conti’s Florist Shop #KeeperoftheDay

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Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, talks about his childhood library in North Beverly, Massachusetts, located in the neighborhood florist shop.

Linda Spalding #KeeperoftheDay

Linda Spalding #KeeperoftheDay

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On the latest episode of The Kitchen Sisters Present… we talk with best-selling author Linda Spalding about her latest book, A Reckoning.

Linda is a keeper. A keeper of her family history, a keeper of words, a keeper of truth…

Thomas Alva Edison #KeeperoftheDay

Thomas Alva Edison #KeeperoftheDay

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#KeeperoftheDay – Thomas Alva Edison, born this day in 1847.

Look around your daily life. There’s a little piece of Thomas Edison almost everywhere. Your desk lamp. That x-ray you got when you broke your arm. The battery in your car. The movie you saw last night. The recording of this story that you’re about to hear… Listen to The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise of Thomas Alva Edison.

Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives #KeeperoftheDay

Oregon Hops & Brewing Archives #KeeperoftheDay

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#KeeperoftheDay – Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives at Oregon State University

Tiah Edmunson-Morton called The Keepers Hotline to tell us about the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives, the first of its kind in the nation. She collects records of hops and brewing in the Northwest, highlights the experiences of women working in brewing, and has done 108 oral histories to date of people working in hops and brewing. The oral history collection has “become a really important record of the industry over the last five years,” says Tiah. Hear more about the Archive and snippets from some of these oral histories here:

This piece was produced by our intern Lauren Schechter.

Laura Hecox, Lighthouse Keeper #KeeperoftheDay

Laura Hecox, Lighthouse Keeper #KeeperoftheDay

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#KeeperoftheDay – Laura Hecox, Lighthouse Keeper, naturalist, citizen scientist, and founder of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

Laura Hecox, the Keeper of the lighthouse in Santa Cruz CA from 1883 to 1916, was responsible for ensuring the light never failed — but her work didn’t end there. Hecox was an avid naturalist collecting and cataloguing marine specimens, minerals, fossils, Indian baskets and historical artifacts which she displayed in the lighthouse open to visitors on the weekend. She corresponded with prominent scientists of the day and had a least two mollusk species named in her honor.

In 1904, she donated her ever-growing collection to the new Carnegie Library in Santa Cruz, which became the foundation of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. The original collection included dried sea stars and crustaceans, Native American and Eskimo artifacts, minerals, gems, coral, birds’ nests and eggs, turtle and tortoise carapaces, and 200 species of shells. Laura spoke at the opening of the museum and said that she felt she wasn’t losing anything by donating her collection; she was simply sharing her enjoyment with the public.

Rosa Parks Papers #KeeperoftheDay

Rosa Parks Papers #KeeperoftheDay

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#KeeperoftheDay on Rosa Parks Day – Rosa Parks Papers at the Library of Congress

“The papers of Rosa Parks (1913-2005) span the years 1866-2006, with the bulk of the material dating from 1955 to 2000. The collection, which contains approximately 7,500 items in the Manuscript Division, as well as 2,500 photographs in the Prints and Photographs Division, documents many aspects of Parks’s private life and public activism on behalf of civil rights for African Americans. The collection is a gift made to the Library in 2016 through the generosity of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The Library received the materials in late 2014, formally opened them to researchers in the Library’s reading rooms in February 2015, and now has digitized them for optimal access by the public.”

Vox did a story about some of the highlights in the collection, including Parks’ personal writing and photographs. Read that article here.

Stephen Pleasonton #KeeperoftheDay

Stephen Pleasonton #KeeperoftheDay

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“My favorite person, my hero, is a clerk in the State Department named Stephen Pleasonton. Who, the night before the British burned the town and the Capitol in the War of 1812, realized that the charters were at risk. He rolled them up, stuffed them into linen sacks, commandeered a wagon on the street and took them into the hills of Virginia. The only reason that the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights have survived is because of Stephen Pleasonton.” -David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States