01 September 2016

The Database

To celebrate my birthday week, I have a gift for the world!

For the last couple of months I've been working to put together this database of funding for researchers of Mormon-centric studies. There are actually two databases-- one that is specifically research related to LDS topics (for which member and non-member could technically apply) and a second that relates to awards offered as scholarships to members of faith. 
Between our two databases, we have 51 awards, which I have to say I'm pretty jazzed about (I wasn't sure there would even be enough to consider creating a database). Phase two of the project will be to approach LDS family foundations and individual donors to consider setting money aside for individual research projects. If you'd like to help, please let me know!

In other news, as Jon is currently back in Australia (though he'll be coming home in only a couple of weeks-- not months! YAY!), I've been spending an awful lot of time at the British Library trying to get ahead on some research I'll being doing for school this autumn. This view (above) is pretty much the first sight you see when you come in the library. It is like a Disney-Beauty-and-the-Beast fantasy come to life, and genuinely made my heart skip a beat when I first went inside. 

This place is insanely exclusive. You can't even get near any of the books unless you have a card, which is a bit of a process to acquire (you even have to show a list of books you are planning on reading before they give it to you-- which I find ridiculous). It is a copyright library, so you can't check anything out and they only have one copy of every book. You sit in the beautiful reading rooms, and wait for an hour while your books get brought up from storage. As it is the largest library in the world, these things take there sweet time. 

I sort of have a love/hate relationship with the place. On the one hand, I think it is glorious. It is like a palace to literature and knowledge. On the other hand, it is a bit snobby. And by a bit, I mean a lot. This is an actual conversation I heard while I was waiting for my books: 

(Context: A man had just gone up to the front desk to collect his books. The librarian hands him what looks like a folded piece of paper)

Man: What is this? Where is the book?
Librarian: Oh, you only requested the dust jacket. 
Man: The dust jacket? Why would anyone request a dust jacket?
Librarian: I don't know. Perhaps for research. 
Man: I requested all that was available. Why would only the dust jacket arrive?
Librarian: Maybe it was mislabelled. 
Man: Well then you need to purchase a new book to replace it. 
Librarian: Um... I don't think so. 
Librarian: (clearly annoyed) I'm sorry. I have other customers. (There is literally no one else anywhere near the front the desk. Librarian turns and walks away)
Man: Where am I meant to go to sort this out? Downstairs? Excuse me!
Librarian: (without turning around) Ask the front desk. 

Man walks off, equally dazed and infuriated. 

It was rather funny to watch as a spectator, but I would have been livid if I had been the guy. 

Anyway, as snotty as they are, they have the books. I'll probably be spending a lot more time there over the next few weeks. 

Enjoy the database!

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