Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I remember, when I was starting out in archives, getting excited about every new thing that came across my desk. I was a history major at the time, and every scrap of history was a new world, another little piece in the puzzle of "what happened." My curiosity eventually lost its edge. I mean, I didn't lose my love of history or anything quite so dire, but I definitely gave up on the sentimentality of the historical object. When you see enough old newspapers, you kind of stop caring about every article, every advertisement, every photograph. The sheet weight of all that historical material pressing on your time strips some of the romanticism away from the work.
But today, I got sucked back in. A random newspaper article, with a quote from a very famous man who recently passed away. The quote was inflammatory, and not at all flattering to either our university or the city and its population. It made me really hungry for more information about my university and its place in the history of this community.
Normally archivists don't deal with this. Rarely are we the ones who personally investigate history, but in some instances, we have to be. Because no one else is going to investigate.

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"Wicked people never have time for reading. It's one of the reasons for their wickedness." —Lemony Snicket, The Penultimate Peril.