Friday, January 22, 2010


Success! I heard back from the volunteer coordinator at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange. After apologizing for losing my original application, she invited me to their orientation on February 16, as well as a volunteer event tomorrow morning. As part of their continuing education, the park archivist is giving an overview of the documents and records they have on site.

The archives piece sounds pretty cool; Rutgers has had a project going for several years to catalogue all of the paperwork found on site, and it's quite extensive. When they reopened the site in October they had a small exhibit of some of the documents, which only sparked my interest in what might be there and the opportunities it opens up to learn more about some of Edison's lesser-known projects.

We'll see what the volunteer assignments shape out to be. Now that the site is largely self-guided, it's possible the only live tour narrative is done in one or two of the out-buildings (i.e. chem lab) and at Glenmont, Edison's house. I'm not all that jazzed about doing house tours, to be honest, but then it's likely better than just sitting in the visitor center.

In any case, I'll need to balance this with Ellis Island and the other stuff I need to do to get my act in gear.

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