Wednesday, January 23, 2019

When I Was a Scholar

[Originally posted in May 2017 on the Pacific Coast league 1930-1960 Facebook group, responding to this photo of the original editions of Richard E. Beverage's books on the Hollywood Stars and Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League. spt+]

The Stars book I bought in the early '80s directly from Richard Beverage through the mail, but when I inquired about the Angels book, it was long out-of-print and he had none available. Occasionally I'd inquire at used book stores in the San Fernando Valley, but no luck. In 1988 I headed up to the Lutheran seminary, which has graduate student privileges at Cal.

So in a University library one day on a lark I looked up "The Angels" and, sure enough, they had one copy -- at the Bancroft Library. That's a non-circulating, research library. No checking out books. You can't even go in the stacks to see it. One of the librarians gets it for you. You aren't allowed pens or pencils, even to make notes (they will make copies for a fee), and you don't leave until you return it. And they don't do this for just anybody, even a graduate student, holding a Cal library card. No you have to first register as a researcher, completing a form that remains on file declaring to the Bancroft who you are and your field of study! Gee, I just want to read something about the team my dad fell in love with when he was a boy.

Then it hit me -- I'm a divinity student at the Graduate Theological Union. And so I put down that I was researching angels. And I got to read the book.

No comments: