Monday, July 25, 2016

Manning the Desk

            I spent another week within Visitor Services and Resource Education. Most of which, was spent at the front desk fielding questions and explaining the battlefield’s trail network. Something different from my experience at the desk a few weeks back was all the different visitors coming in with Pok√©mon GO open on their phones. It’s sort of a touchy subject among staff, but some are embracing it. I believe it is a good opportunity to rope in a new generation for engagement in Civil War History. Our education ranger has her work cut out for her in devising a possible program that incorporates the new game.

            I also went on a trip to the National Archives at College Park. I accompanied the Chief of Museum and Library Services, her intern, and an intern from the Historic Preservation Training Center to do research on Antietam. The HPTC intern was attempting to find information on the Burnside Bridge before the Battle of Antietam. The Chief of Museum and Library Services was searching for more information on the time Antietam Battlefield was under the administration of the War Department. The nature of the research process was impressive. The first thing we did was dig through binder catalogs for any keywords surrounding the Battle of Antietam. We got a little creative in some instances by defining key words. Once we found a promising box, we had to fill out a pull slip and turn it in before the predefined pull times. The rest of the day was spent looking through various records that were close to the subject matter. The highlight of the day was finding the Antietam National Battlefield Master Plan. This document was the planned transfer of leadership of the site from The War Department to the National Park Service. The maps included the property line that was color coded in order to label the historic farm plots and area for further acquisition.
The Master Plan


Photograph of Middle Bridge

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