What I’ve been up to over the holiday!

I’ve had a busy holiday.  Like most people, I ate too much, went to family get togethers, gained 5 pounds and loved every second of it.  But I also had a few side projects that really turned out beautifully!

My archive (FSC’s McKay Archive) houses the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame and the Citrus Archive.  Unfortunately, most people in Lakeland had no idea such an archive existed.  With that in mind, the archive set out to shed a little light on one of our best kept secrets.  We held an exhibition at the Arts on the Park gallery in downtown Lakeland which started on January 6, 2012 and will run through February 16, 2012.  (Update) After the exhibit closed, we moved it to the McKay Archive gallery where it is still on display.

We staged the front of the gallery to give the appearance of an old citrus storefront display and put antique crate labels on the walls.  Other areas depicted different aspects of the citrus business: Growing,  Packing,  Advertisements,  the Citrus Queens, and tools.  Larger items, like a rare roadside citrus press, citrus crates, and a Kimono were displayed in the back…  Kimono??  Yes, Kimono.

(Citrus exhibit at the McKay Archive gallery)



Years of sewing, quilting and dealing with textiles meant that the kimono and obi became my baby.  Brenda Eubanks was the citrus queen in 1981.  Being the Citrus Queen meant being an ambassador for Florida Citrus.  Because of this, Florida Citrus brought Eubanks to Japan as they were working to market Florida orange juice.  At some point, it was suggested that Eubanks could wear a kimono and the citrus representatives graciously accepted the idea.  Eubanks wore the purple and white kimono accented with pink flowers and a bright green sash – she was stunning.  Only later did they find out that once you wear the kimono, you buy the kimono.  $2,000.00 later, Florida Citrus purchased Eubanks the elegant kimono.  To date, this is the finest gift any citrus queen ever received and Eubanks (now Brenda Eubanks Burnette) generous donated the kimono to the archive.  Along with the kimono, Eubanks donated several antique dresses, a photo album documenting her time as the citrus queen and currently works with Florida Citrus and the McKay Archives to preserve the history of Florida citrus.

The above picture is me wearing one of Brenda Eubanks Burnette’s dresses.

Aaaannnd, now it’s back to work for me!  Over the holidays I was also plotting out a plan to encourage professors and students at Florida Southern College to do research that utilizes primary resources.  I intend to use the Shirley Jackson Case collection (housed at McKay Archives) to reach out to the religion/philosophy department because this collection has some pretty interesting religious documents that are too awesome to talk about yet.  Unfortunately, or possibly fortunately, when I came to work today I found 48 boxes that were not originally cataloged in this collection!  48 boxes containing rare books that must be cataloged before we can present the collection to be used for research purposes.  My office is pretty full at the moment

and I LOVE IT!

My office!  YAY!

Yes, the boxes are filling the bookshelf, my desk and the floor – this is going to be fun!


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