Sunday, January 29, 2012

Day #474 Archiving

Remember that lunch I mentioned yesterday? Well, I had it Saturday afternoon - a lunch with Pat Gerard, who is an archivist. She had spoken to me a couple of years ago about the possibility of archiving my papers.
“Who’d want them?” was my first thought.
But she’s convinced me that archiving for future scholars and researchers would be a good idea. After all, someone writing a historical mystery 200 years from now could pick up all sorts of facts about day-to-day life around the turn of the 21st century just by reading my journals.
When I read books about life in the 13th century, I want to know the writer has done her research so she gets all the minutiae right. Someday, my journals may help someone who’s writing about those days long ago at the end of the 20th century.
So, I pulled out all my old journals, college papers, lessons plans from when I did community teaching in a grade-school, family photographs (all of which I have to label!), and the transcripts of my grandparents and great-grandmother’s diaries.
Pat looked everything over, took some measurements (“How many inches tall would this stack of journals be?”), asked lots of questions, and then we went to lunch at Macaroni Grill.
During lunch she said that she’s already started the archiving process for my blog - printing each post on archival paper. This blog, after all, has in a way taken the place of the daily journal entries I used to write.
For the past dozen years or so, I’ve limited myself to nightly journal jottings that read like a list of what-did-Frannie-do-today. Not very interesting. The older journals, the true ones -- the ones where I was agonizing over how to order my life -- no longer seemed necessary once I was writing my life and my concerns into my Biscuit McKee mysteries.
Just think of it. Some day your great-great-great grandniece might come across the old Stewart papers and glean some sort of wisdom from them.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
BEEattitude for Day #474:
       Blessed are those who eat with friends, for they shall digest thoughts as well as food.
The teeny details:
my books: Please buy them from an independent bookstore or directly from my website.

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