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  • Writer's pictureMaria-Elena Cigarroa

A Texan turned Princess Sunday, March 5th (11am-5pm)

Updated: Mar 12

I had a great time working the reference desk with Vanessa, our digital archivist, today even though the Austin History Center's air-conditioning system broke down! The researchers who were viewing the Statesman photo morgue came back to look at the negatives we pulled and requested an additional 12 negatives. I could tell they were excited about their findings so I asked about their project--they flew from LA to do research for a documentary they are filming about a former Austinite who divorced a disgraced Senator, became a playboy model, married an Italian prince, and has been involved in a longstanding feud with her now deceased husband's children over the Italian villa/mansion. I asked them whether this was the women the NY Times had been writing about and they were so happy that I had heard of her and found the story fascinating! See I learned that Princess Rita attended the same high school as my kids!

I spent all of my time helping these documentarians because they asked for lots of materials and needed help with reproduction requests for some of the negatives they wanted digitized. Vanessa helped most of the other patrons who came in, although I did help her pull some vertical files for some of those patrons. 5:00 rolled around quickly, so I closed out the cash drawer and tidied up the reading room before calling it a day.

Maria-Elena Cigarroa

Supervisor: Jennifer Hecker

General Schedule: Sundays (11-6); Thursdays (2:00-6:00); Fridays (12:30-5:30)

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