for the archives

A few weeks ago, a poet-and-church friend who is a faithful reader of Top of JC’s Mind asked if I would like to get in touch with a friend of hers who is involved with a local historical society. Their historical society is joining with others in New York State to assemble an archive related to the pandemic. My friend thought that my posts about being in the vaccine trial might be appropriate for the archive.

It turned out that the archiving project was interested in my vaccine trials posts and any others that dealt with living in the time of COVID. I had sent the vaccine posts first. Then, I worked my way through my blog archive, copying the links to other pandemic related posts.

I knew that I wrote about the impact of COVID-19 quite a lot, but I was surprised at how long the list of posts was – fifty-six posts, from late February through September 11, in addition to the handful of vaccine ones. I joked with the archivist about it being either “an embarrassment of riches or just an embarrassment!” Since then, any time I write about our pandemic experiences I send her the link.

I had asked her how they were preserving the archive. She said that, while they do keep links on their computer, they are printing the materials for posterity. Archival technologies tend to come and go but paper lasts for a very long time.

It’s humbling to think that, decades from now, some future historian might stumble across some of my posts and be able to glean some insights about what it has been like dealing with these fraught times in our communities in upstate New York. First person contemporaneous accounts are highly sought sources for historians and documentarians and I would be honored if my posts are able to assist someone with their research some-year in the future.

Author: Joanne Corey

Please come visit my eclectic blog, Top of JC's Mind. You can never be sure what you'll find!

9 thoughts on “for the archives”

  1. We are all living through a unique time in our history – what an honor that your experiences will become part of the archives (I love that they are using paper, but of course!). I am keeping a handwritten daily journal – started in mid March – to chronicle the pandemic in my part of the world. Not too exciting, but it is what it is!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great that you are keeping a journal. Some day, you may choose to pass it on to an archive or organization in your area. The local archivist was telling me that they appreciate when people donate letters, journals, diaries, etc. to them. It helps to know what is going on with residents, not just the governmental goings-on.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ellen! It’s possible that all of our words will be saved digitally in a way that is accessible and searchable long-term, but it’s also possible that our current digital archives will go the way of microfiche. Paper may prove more durable, if less searchable.

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