We’re continuing our series here on the Theodore Roosevelt blog to highlight our volunteers and what they bring to our digital library project. Our next volunteer to spotlight is Brenda from Pennsylvania.
What motivated you to become a Theodore Roosevelt Center digital library volunteer?
I am a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, and saw this as an opportunity to learn yet more about Theodore Roosevelt and his times.
What has been your favorite part of volunteering?
Learning about the issues surrounding Theodore Roosevelt as president, and learning more about him.
What has been the most challenging part of volunteering?
Trying to read some of the handwritten documents. Some of the writing is really challenging to read.
Tell me about your favorite “discovery” while cataloging.
I cataloged a letter written by a 7-year-old boy named Francis Burton Harrington to Theodore Roosevelt. It is a true gem. As part of his grade school assignment, Harrington chooses as his motto for life Colonel Roosevelt’s battlefield quote to his Rough Riders, “No matter what comes, you must not squeal.” He writes this letter to Roosevelt. Roosevelt responds with his photograph and a hand written note: “Do you play football, Burton? If so, a good motto (for football and for life generally) is ‘don’t foul, don’t flinch; hit the line hard.’”
What do you think a potential volunteer needs to have or know to join the project?
They need to have a desire to learn more about Theodore Roosevelt and his times.