Last week we participated in the Society of American Archivists Call to Action #5: Why do Archives Matter?
We asked some of our users to comment on why our archives collection matters to them. Our “Quotable Friday” quote today comes from one of our favorite responses:
“I work in local government, often creating the computer-aided version of some of the almost 200 year old documents we pull from our archives. When I have the privilege of handling marriage licenses or naturalization records from the 1800’s in our archives, there is so much more information available than simply the words of the hand-written text. I see the doodles in court reporters’ margins, I revel the painstakingly beautiful effort required of the calligraphy in the indexes, the pages and pages of iron gall ink, the elaborate stationary representing our court office , all which reflect a different world. I see the pride of our ancestors, I see the work-ethic that built this country, I revel in the human-element required of those documents. Call me old-fashioned, but the words we generate now on these computers and the print with a font so uniform doesn’t compare to the uniform artistry seen in the ability of those human hands of years ago. This history preserved on that original parchment and onion skin paper breathes its context in a way that no other format could. The preservation of our history is twofold in the archives; the raw data presented alongside the context in which it originated…..”