This past month I have been spending time exploring the Bentley Historical Library for artifacts, archives, and information for the content of the website that will support our podcasts for M-visible voices.
The purpose of this project is to center and celebrate the voices of marginalized communities that have been hidden over the course of the University’s 200 year-old history. This project encompasses the usage of media and storytelling through the creation of podcasts along with the collection of research, information, and history to provide context to the stories that are being highlighted in the podcasts.
A lot of what I do focuses on trying to find artifacts and archives on certain topics of the podcasts to try to find a narrative within the history. This involves being very habitual about taking notes on everything you see, feel, and read. It is tedious. At first I had struggled a lot because everything seemed important to me. But then it became easier to categorize an artifact’s purpose and importance to the project.
This process is like looking through old family photographs and boxes, once you start, you have so many questions. What is this program? Who are these people? Is this building still present? You want to keep looking through everything, but then you realize that you have too write everything down. And although it feels slower, IT HAS TO BE DONE, or else you have no record of what you have been finding when you try to retrace your steps to find out more information.
In many ways, I have learned the importance of keeping a record of some sort. Whether it may be through memo-ing the documents I am looking at, or putting away personal old photos and documents in a safe place. It is important to put the present on record. We need to look in the past to adjust the present and change the future, but you can’t if there is not a past to look at and examine. I know this because it is challenging trying to find information of an event that has happened when few actually document and archive it. Things that aren’t documented simply just don’t exist in the future, so hopefully we can continue to cultivate ways in which we can make archiving more feasible and accessible to everyone rather than just university offices.