Archiving Diaries Nowadays

After last week’s round of archives website presentations, I found myself thinking a lot about the digital divide and what exactly that means for collecting information we so excitedly explore in archives and in their online collections.  Currently, these things–diaries, manuscripts, correspondence, journals, letters, notes–are falling by the wayside or being created online.

I realized in that moment that while I have done a great job of citizen archiving the stories of those who have helped with the History Truck (either at the neighborhood level or friend level), while I have newspaper clippings to document the journey, while I can reference work created or audio recorded, I do not have any journal depicting how I have felt or thought about things along the way.  Sure, there are e-mails to friends every once in a blue moon that show moments of vulnerability, but there is little of my personality in the record.  I wondered if this was a common issue.

So I decided to try and counteract this lack of personality by creating a tumblr that captures my feelings about public history in a very contemporary and visual way– mimicking the very funny “#whatshouldwecallme,” I created “#whatshouldwecallpublichistory” this weekend.  I am hoping I keep up with it because it should be a very fun page to examine about ten years from now…. if I am still able to explore it ten years from now… oh, digital things, are you as vulnerable to disappearing as I worry you are?  I hope not, and in the meantime, I will try to keep up with the LOC recommendations for archiving digital items.

On a last note, I have to mention Listen to Wikipedia, a site I discovered at Heavily Scripted, Lee Tusman’s current exhibition at Little Berlin.  LtoW is an audiovisual documentation site experience of live Wikipedia edits, and it is super interesting, relaxing, and smart.  I highly encourage exploring it.

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