November 20, 2006
I had a fun trip to the amazing Seattle Public Library (designed by Rem Koolhaus) to do some research on a project I'm working on.
Just visiting this ultra modern library seems like an amazing trip to the future. But then looking 100 years into the past at some old magazines from 1907 was equally entertaining. It's fun doing the basic research on a historical subject... getting all the detailed first hand pieces of the puzzle.
Astonishing to see all the things that have changed and all the things that haven't changed. But then I could spend years just browsing through old forgotten journals. It's the same experience that I hear archaeologists talk about, how they're so excited to think no one has seen the artifacts they're digging up for thousands of years. Well I'm sure there's very few people looking into Educator Shoes either!
I think one of the main joys in being an historian is dwelling in that timeless space of the imagination... to read an article and think that no one else has read this article in 100 years. No doubt it's the same motivation that helps to drive the archaeologist.
I was particularly amazed to see how contemporary the children's illustration from 1907 looks. It seems almost as if it could as easily have been done in 2006 as 1906.