I got to spend three nights at home before taking off again, this time for a work-related trip. I am currently in Dayton, OH for a meeting of technical services librarias. It's an interesting meeting and I go regularly because it's regional and usually not very long nor very expensive.
So I drove up today, found my way around Dayton some, and went to the opening reception. The opening reception was at the University of Dayton's Roesch Library within which is the International Marian Research Institute. So I took a tour of the Marian Libary which was amazing. They have the largest collection of print materials on Mary, plus an amazing number of Mary statues from all over the world, paintings and prints and all sorts of art work, and they have over 900 creches from around the world. Some of them are on display, but the majority are in storage somewhere. It's hard to store 900 of these. They currently have on loan from a private collector a collection of paper creches. Those were pretty amazing too.
I also saw a sampling (a very large "sampling") of bookmarks with Mary on them, postcards from Marian shrines and apparition locations from around the world, and lots of mass cards. I had never seen mass cards with lace around them, and some were very ornate. It was quite an experience. The amount of stuff they have there is amazing!!
Tomorrow the meat of the conference starts. I am speaking during one of the morning sessions and then I can relax. I have barely thought about the rest of the conference program since I've been focusing on my own presentation. Wish me luck!