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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The lighter side of preservation

Being the first of the month, this is the day when many conservators and preservation staff, including myself, perform the necessary yet often tedious task of checking the hygrothermographs, delicately changing the paper in them, doing the light meter readings, compiling all this data on our collections facility's environmental condition, etc. So I sent out the following email:
...the Library Friends installed new, automated hygros that download their data through a wireless connection, and a volunteer is doing the compilation and reporting! Cool, huh!

It worked; at least one person (the day is young) didn't notice that this message was sent on April Fool's Day.

How was your April Fool's? Although a solid component of many communities, information on practical jokes is hard to collect--necessarily fleeting by nature, the setups are temporary, and the victims often reluctant to share their experiences.

How about you? Ever observed April Fool's day aboard ship? Ever been around what the folklorists call the "initiation ritual?"

Update: A colleague tells me that at the air museum where she used to work, people were sent out for "prop wash." (Other people, of course!)

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