I have an irrational love of old papers. I’m lucky that my job provides me the opportunity to peruse so many different types of documents. While processing Elizabeth Roemer’s papers, I recently came upon a 1964 pamphlet from the U.S. Department of the Navy. Dr. Roemer was employed at the Naval Observatory and kept many documents related to her work there.


Front cover



Step 3 of the 7 step plan


Back cover

The scope of our collection here at Lowell Observatory does not include a document like this one. This would probably be found in the archives of the U.S. Navy. This copy, however, can be found in my personal archives of, “cool stuff I’ve found at work.”


Postcards from the Edge

By Stacey Christen


One of the joys of processing an archival collection is the discovery of hidden treasures. These vintage black and white astronomy postcards were found among the research papers of Elizabeth Roemer. Dr.Roemer has an extensive collection of postcards in her papers. However, I’m unsure whether or not she was planning to use them or she just collected for the sake of collecting. There are unanswered questions in every collection processed.


Sonnet from the Archives

By Stacey Christen (with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)


How do I empty thee? Let me count the ways.

I empty thee to the depth and breadth and height

My arms can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Original Order and Preservation.

I empty thee to the level of researchers’

Most quiet need, by day and night.

I empty thee freely, as we strive for knowledge;

I empty thee purely, as we turn from chaos.

I empty with a passion put to use

In my old studies, and with my organizer’s faith.

I empty thee with a purpose I seemed to find

With my fellow archivists, I empty thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life! And, if the Universe choose,

I shall but empty thee better after death.