Monday, May 23, 2011

Mermaids, Mummies, and Mastodons

I really am thankful for Western Washington University Library and their incredibly helpful staff. I recently found a book on Summit and wanted to give a BIG shout out to all the WWU librarians for being those unsung heroes that do all the little, dirty jobs that no one sees but everyone appreciates…

The book I discovered (with a little help from a really helpful librarian) was found through Summit and provided me with a glimmer of hope that I was going to find some empirical research documentation on “Real Mermaids”. I can really only say one thing after previewing the book, the search continues. The book cover appears to be some sort of British slave camp and really reflects the early American history of colonization. The big hint that I must have missed was the italicized text directly under the title that should have clued me into the potential content and saved me some time and effort. Although there is only a small portion of information regarding mermaids in this particular text, there is at least something. I am often reminded by my mentor that its not the final destination that is important, but rather the journey that led you to your final destination. The missed clue read; The Emergence of the American Museum, which actually discovering this piece of information would have served a purpose of allowing me to spend my limited available time on researching other options, but this is really a treasurer of information.

The book is about the coming of age of American museums and how they came about. There is actually a fairly extensive calendar of historic events and dates outlined in the book that speak about preserving our history and heritage. The small piece of information regarding my well hidden monster is new information and actually fairly interesting. The photo is of a nineteenth century Japanese mermaid. Formerly exhibited in the P.T. Barnum’s circus, this artifact now resides in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Harvard University. The book overall was interesting, but didn’t have a lot of useful information regarding my mermaid search.

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