Erin Paulson


Erin's time at the Historical Society began as an intern in conservation in the summer of 2012. After graduating with her MFA in Book Arts and Printmaking from the University of the Arts in 2013, she joined the conservation staff as one of three technicians for the Bank of North America collection. She has an affinity for all things vintage and book related, and loves to be inspired by the collections at HSP.

This Author's Posts

My past two blog entries chronicled the history behind the enchanting name of Isaac Hazlehurst, and hinted that there must be countless other histories awaiting discovery within the Bank of North America collection. With that said, I never expected to begin treatment on a bank-related volume and find a dramatic story lying within, its details already thoroughly chronicled, merely awaiting a reader to appreciate the rhetoric of the author.


October saw Part One of my discoveries pertaining to a name within our Bank of North America collection, Isaac Hazlehurst. If you missed that first post, please read it prior to the following, where I detail Part Two of my findings.

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As a conservation technician on the Bank of North America project, I am constantly amazed and inspired by the collection. Indeed, it is inevitable that as I clean and mend pages in the manuscripts, my interest is piqued by what I find within – whether it be ink blots, insects, doodles, or in this case, certain recurring names. The names I find particularly eye-catching are those that speak of bygone eras, names that I have not previously encountered in contemporary society, names that inspire narrative imaginings like fictional characters in a favorite novel.

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We in the conservation department are excited to share that many of the volumes in the Bank of North America collection are now available to researchers. Over three hundred volumes and boxes are now finished, covered in sleeves for their further protection, and labeled.

Upon the completion of this huge percentage of the collection (almost half!), we made the decision to move the volumes to their permanent home in our newly renovated second floor vault so that they can now be accessed by public researchers.

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When I began working on the Bank of North America collection in August, I was pleasantly surprised by the prevalence of ink blots within the ledgers I was cleaning and consolidating. As I collected these dark, obscure visions, I began to see them as evidence of the original bank clerk’s humanity – his unavoidable errs in writing and his inability to produce a completely perfect manuscript despite the obvious mastery of his writing implement.

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