MHS Goes Prime Time with SJP
Over one year ago, on 27 January 2009, there was a rare celebrity sighting at the MHS, which we were unable to announce until today. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker, best known for HBO's Sex and the City, visited the reading room to work with material from the Society's manuscript collections as part of filming for the inaugural episode of NBC’s new series Who Do You Think You Are? The program, an American adaptation of the hit British documentary series by the same title, follows well-known celebrities as they discover their proverbial roots, researching their ancestors in an attempt to learn more about their families and themselves.
During her visit, Ms. Parker registered as a researcher and followed the standard MHS rules that apply to researchers working in the reading room. The one, highly unusual exception was that the Society allowed the film crew to follow her and record her as she researched her ancestors. Reference librarian Elaine Grublin spent some time with Ms. Parker in the catalog room, helping her identify and call for the material she wanted to see, and then brought the manuscripts to her in the reading room. Ms. Parker's examination of the materials led to some surprising discoveries.
Unfortunately, the MHS cannot disclose which documents Ms. Parker requested to see or what she learned from her research. Instead, tune in to the series debut on NBC on Friday, 5 March, 2010, at 8:00 PM to learn more about the Society’s role in Sarah Jessica Parker’s journey of genealogical discovery and enjoy the MHS and its reading room staff’s 15 minutes of fame.