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. In today’s post, we look at a beautiful story about some lost – and then rediscovered – photos.
Powerful digital archives reach and influence new audiences and are the key to needed funding
The way we access information has fundamentally changed and this change demands a re-calibration on the part of those who house primary source historical materials. In the past ten years, Google has reshaped the public’s expectations around being able to find information and form conclusions based upon what they discover through simple online searches. The difficulty is, of course, that most of our primary source historical materials are not yet accessible online and those that are digitized often lack the robust, item-level tagging that would make them meaningfully searchable in this environment. This problem is exacerbated by a fixed mindset that would suggest that primary source materials in physical or digital form are still mainly for the scholarly researcher. Researchers have been the core focus of dedicated archivists and the institutions in which they work for lifetimes. But questioning who other than the researcher might be interested in accessing these materials opens a world of new possibilities.