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.
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.
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.
People have been asking me to blog for a couple of years now. Like many of us, I’ve found the concept both intriguing and daunting. Yes, I have a lot to say, particularly about the world of technology and history. No, I don’t think I have the time to cram one more thing into my already overcrowded day. What is it that finally unearths the realization that I must begin blogging and I must do so today? There are just too many exciting – and critical – issues to address that relate to our ability to access and make sense of our history.
Sure, it seems like history is pretty much a staid thing. It’s been around since, well, something historical occurred, and it isn’t going anywhere. Yet, few of us have seen behind the curtain into the world of historical records and understand that what exists back there is fundamental to our greater understanding of who we are.