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The Daily Life of Bureaucrats?

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  • The Daily Life of Bureaucrats?

    I have been thinking about expanding into civilian interpretation at the forts. Everything is based on forts and museums out here, given the sparse number of battles in the territory. And civilian interpretation would open a lot of doors, and would provide a good counterbalance to the collecting of all the firearms necessary for the armed forces in the territory (including pre-war and post-war).

    Obviously, I should play to my strengths. I am still at a military age, but am not at the average age for the era. I definitely have a "sitting at a desk preparing documents in triplicate" body. Any casual observer would get a laugh out of watching me try to do the things that farmers and other laborers did. And I would need to identify civilian roles in the area (including pre-war and post-war) that would match my strengths. In modern time, I can do paperwork, filing, and other bureaucratic activities, along with supervisory activities. I also have a knowledge of museum functions and museum history. My handwriting is not the best, but I have seen enough sloppy census records and other papers to know that is not an impediment. I can also work on my penmanship. Those would be a good starting point for a civilian interpretation.

    Thinking about civilians in the territory, there were bureaucrats and clerks involved in territorial government in Santa Fe. There were the civilian clerks at the forts. There were university museum anthropologists and archaeologists who came out this way from the states, but that might be a bit off-putting to my colleagues (and myself) in the modern NAGPRA world.

    Finding museum accounts from the era will be easy for me. Are there accounts from the 1860s that get into the routine activities and daily lives of clerks and bureaucrats?
    Michael Denisovich

    NPS Volunteer and mainstream living history person, new to this but wanting to be authentic
    Interpreter of US Regulars, early war
    Museum administrator in southern New Mexico
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