New Jersey Students 2012
By: Laura Alshamie
This July, seven students learned and experienced more than they ever thought they would in just two weeks. Students from The College of New Jersey traveled to Cornwall to immerse themselves in archival research. Working in the Museum, students not only got to embark on a research adventure through the archives, but they also had the opportunity to acquaint themselves with every book and magazine in the library. The first three days in the library, they located and organized all the book holdings: calling out numbers, searching for misplaced books, and putting everything back in meticulous order. The remainder of the two weeks, they spent their time data basing, archiving, and forming connections in binders with the many letters, notes, courses, and other correspondences held in the archive.
Linda Wang studied documents pertaining to Cecil Williamson & his bringing the Museum of Witchcraft to the wonderful county of Cornwall. Her binder of archives chronologically documented all of Cecil’s challenges, including issues with insurances and finding a welcome home for the Museum.
Laura Alshamie, Luc Brancheau, and Sue Haefner studied several correspondences and advertisements of various Wiccan courses and workshops that were in the possession of Tim Holland. They learned that Holland had a great interest in Wicca & thus attended workshops and corresponded with several people in order to get a better understanding of the craft. One of the most interesting box files, studied by Chelsea Cannon, included lessons and educational materials for aspiring occultists. Course topics for this file included Joyful Living, Personal Psychic Development, and Craft Course.
Katelyn Cifelli read letters from fans of Doreen Valiente for her work presented in The Witches Way. She also studied the Pickingill Papers. These documents focus on Wiccan practices that related to the old traditional craft. The documents after the papers were prayers & charms written and practiced by Christians.
Bel Drapier had one of the most recent files. These documents relate to Graham King and the process he had to go through in order to lift the ban on retail sales at the Museum. In addition to getting a true sense of Cornish culture and taking many beautiful seaside cliff hikes with Graham, these seven New Jersey students learned a great deal about archival research, modern Wicca, and traditional witchcraft.
And here is the Newsletter in its entirety for your enjoyment!
LA August Newsletter