The C-SPAN Chronicles: Season 2, Part VI

Hello! It’s me again—Kelsey Kim: cereal lover, ghost story enthusiast, C-SPAN Project Archivist (today, I’ll be primarily focusing on that last one).  We are still hard at work making the C-SPAN collection available to you, plugging away at the tasks of refining and redacting to present it as best we can!  In previous posts, you’ve followed along with the process, and hopefully you have a better appreciation for the work that goes into digitizing a large collection like this one.  As you’ve gleaned, a lot of the work in digitization is rather rote and, at this point, you may be thinking, “this sounds so BORING! Why would anyone do this?”

So I thought I would take a break from the technical and introduce you to some of the “why.”  Inside the numerous boxes, disguised as nothing more than ink on paper, are amazing treasures, just waiting for someone to find them!  It’s one of the joys of my job to find those treasures and work hard to bring them to you online.  And that’s precisely what I’m going to do right now!  Here is your super exclusive (for a public blog), very secret (not really), and one-of-a-kind (not for long!) chance to view some of the gems we’ve discovered in the C-SPAN collection!

Most of the letters sent to C-SPAN are standard letter style, so one of the most fun surprises is when we get to break up the narrative monotony by getting a fun little poem! This particular work has one purpose: convince Brian Lamb to wear his glasses more, for those into the intellectual type. 😉

We love little pieces of history we find!  This is our current President during his first Presidential run in 1988.  Turns out, third time really is the charm!

C-SPAN got a lot of mail on holiday stationery—usually Christmas-themed.  In all the boxes I went through, this was the ONLY letter I found on Halloween stationery! And since yours truly (yours ghoul-ly?) loves Halloween, this letter earned a place in my Top Ten.

Much respect to this little girl, who knows exactly where she stands on the minimum wage! I’m curious what the rest of her political views are!

One frequent writer to C-SPAN liked to illustrate the front of their postcards with drawings such as this one.  They’re not only amazing sketches, but very poignant as well!

Any bets on the next time Brian Lamb will say “butthead” on national TV?

Gillian Anderson did an amazing job as Margaret Thatcher on The Crown Season 4 (totally earned that Golden Globe nom!), but nothing can compare to the original woman herself.  Brian Lamb is lucky to have gotten the chance to sit with this iconic woman of history!

This suggested design for a new flag starts off fairly pleasant, but trust me, it goes off the rails on the next page (I’ll spare you the gory details—suffice it to say, the design also includes Band-Aids and syringes).

Occasionally, we get a true gift—a picture of someone’s floofy buddy.  This little kitty only watched C-SPAN for 10 minutes, but was absolutely more informed for it.

Speaking of floofy buddies, as part of one C-SPAN series on U.S. Presidents, someone collected this 1937 photo of former President Jimmy Carter and his dog, affectionately (I hope) named Bozo.

The C-SPAN staff have a major job to bring the vital happenings of government to the people every single day.  But the good news, it looks like they work hard….and play hard. But what color Power Ranger will this person be?

I once had a lovely dream where I was floating down a lazy river with Art Garfunkel (the 1960s version), but I have to say, dreaming that you stole chocolates from George Bush, solely because he had a huge box and wouldn’t share? That’s a truly top-of-the-line dream. Incidentally, I would absolutely watch a Saturday Night Live skit of this.

See what I mean?  There are so many incredible finds! We are so excited to see what you will discover.  Keep looking out for updates from us!

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