Every year the Fraternity Communications Association (FCA) presents awards to fraternities and sororities for excellence in communication ranging from best alumni/alumnae engagement to social media engagement, annual report and so on. We are pleased to share that this year, Alpha Phi sorority received an award for their digital museum — the result of their partnership with HistoryIT.
“Who controls the past controls the future.
Who controls the present controls the past.”
This quote, from George Orwell’s 1984, refers to the concept that past events continue to exist only through two means: human memories and written (or digital) records. In the book, the protagonist’s job is to revise historical records to make the past conform to what the government wants it to be.
I have always been fascinated by the fact that history is everywhere and I love being surprised by what we can learn from archives. Our work with fraternities and sororities is a great example of this. While many assume that these histories will only be of interest to the organizations or their members, there is much in their archives that provides historical insight more generally.
It’s hard to believe, but the academic year is coming to end, meaning that sorority and fraternity chapter houses are once again preparing to pack up for the summer. Universities often provide checklists for Greek organizations to ensure that the universities’ assets are protected, but what about the assets of the Greek organizations? What steps can you take to ensure that your years of memorabilia make it through the summer storage months intact?
In my recent vlog on “Preserving the Year We’d Rather Forget,” I talked about the importance of taking a moment to pause and reflect on the last twelve months. As more people become vaccinated and begin resuming portions of their pre-pandemic lives, memories will fade. It’s vital that we take the time to document the highlights and lowlights for future generations — before we no longer remember the details.
Spring is in the air, which means that people and organizations across the country are beginning to do some deep cleaning. The phrase “out with the old, in with the new,” however, doesn’t exactly sit well with people like us who are focused on preserving history.
This blog post is part of a series exploring the surprising places that we discover history. We often think of museums, historical societies, and libraries as the sole repositories of our past. Yet hidden histories are everywhere! Stories are often buried away in the least likely of places, and we at HistoryIT love unearthing and saving them.
Our newly appointed first African American and Asian American Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, is also the first graduate of an HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) and the first member of a Black Greek-letter organization (BGLO) to serve as Vice President. She talks often about the impact her membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority had on her life; it even affected her recent Vogue cover shoot.
HistoryIT’s ten-year anniversary this month has given me cause to look back and reflect on how we got here. It’s not a typical entrepreneur story, for sure, but HistoryIT has become more than a typical company.
I never thought of myself as entrepreneurial, and I didn’t start off with any grand designs. I didn’t even have a business plan until 2013, two years after I founded the company.
On February 1st, HistoryIT will celebrate its ten-year anniversary, an achievement that got me thinking about how best to mark such an occasion.