Lately, we’ve been combing through Google Analytics data for our collections, and one thing it’s done is alert us to some popular items we didn’t know about, in part because they were not in particularly well-used collections.
The Durst Family Papers is a small collection of interesting but awfully random items, including an early 18th century British legal document, a handwritten knitting pattern, and a U.S. Service Flag from WWI. There are also several items pertaining to the 19th century South, like a hand-written version of the song “Dixie,” a booklet entitled “The South Did Not Fight to Hold Slaves,” and a Confederate five dollar bill.
Something that’s both Southern and pretty random is one of our more popular items: a 1925 Pictorial History of Fort Marion, a “souvenir or St. Augustine[Florida] under three flags.”
The booklet, written under the direction of the local historical society, contains a written history of St. Augustine and the fort, which at various times was under Spanish, British, and American control (pages 3-5). In 1924, just before this booklet was printed, it was designated a National Monument. Later, it was transferred to the National Park Service, and it is now known by its original Spanish name, Castillo de San Marcos.
The booklet also describes the fort as it stood in 1925, including the powder magazine, the “famous secret dungeon,” something called a “hot shot oven,” and even a moat (pages 5-7, 16-18).
What’s really interesting about the booklet is a section of full-color pictures, eight pages with two images on each page, to accompany the descriptions. Here are a few examples to pique your interest — click on the thumbnail to view a larger version.
You’ll find the complete booklet in Acumen.