As HistoryIT celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2021, we want to take the time to share how amazing our team of history savers is. In this blog series, you’ll get to know each member of our organization who makes HistoryIT’s history-saving work possible. Meet Dana Barron — Project Director, musicologist and client support specialist.
“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.
One of the joys of studying history is stumbling across surprising stories. The tangents we go off on and the rabbit holes we fall down are what feed our curious minds. As the person who manages our social media, I’m delighted to be able to dive into these new discoveries on a regular basis.
Composites are a defining feature of Greek life. Each year young men and women have their photos taken to be collectively displayed in chapter houses, to have prints made for their parents or to save as a personal keepsake. For members of fraternal communities, composites are an annual tradition, a fond memory and a spark for nostalgia among alumni. For HistoryIT, they’re incredibly helpful research tools that visually communicate the history of these organizations through a unique lens.
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?
As HistoryIT celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2021, we want to take the time to share how amazing our team of history savers is. In this blog series, you’ll get to know each member of our organization who makes HistoryIT’s history-saving work possible. Next up, we’d like to introduce you to Kirsten Kling, Senior Project Specialist.
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.
Past Masters is HistoryIT’s new vlog series created to offer a more visual and personal account of our history saving journeys. From the beginning, we wanted HistoryIT to be an organization that helped bridge the gap between past and present, by telling not just facts, but stories. Through our digital museums, we’ve been able to tap into the emotions of history, uncovering hidden moments that make for compelling narratives. Join us throughout the year for our behind-the-scenes look into historic preservation.
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.