The things we keep

“What should I be saving for the archives?” you may be asking yourself. Well since you asked…

Consider this snippet of an article on Miami University archivist Bob Schmidt:

“The archives are considered a long-term storage unit for articles with permanent historic value, according to Bob. Inside, shelves are tightly stacked with cardboard filing boxes, each filled with a sliver of history. Newspaper clippings, letters, floor plans, photos, reels of old film and other materials are tucked neatly inside manila folders inside each box.

One box labeled ‘Fisher Hall’ contains old floor plans, newspaper clippings from the aftermath of a missing student from 1953 who lived in the residence hall, the demolition of the hall and the mysteries surrounding. An entire row of boxes contain game film from old Miami football games and tapes the team watched in the locker room. Bob saves old technology to watch reel-to-reel films or for cassette tapes or records. A door propped against one of the walls was preserved after a murder in Reid Hall. The door allegedly has blood stains from that night.”

The emphasis on that last bit was mine. I don’t know about bloody doors, but you get the idea. It isn’t just about collecting a specific object (i.e. photo, email, letter, rough draft, poster). We look to collect facts, ideas, stories, moods, and changes–fragments of our past and present that all add up to a full picture of what is is we are trying to preserve.

Thanks for asking!

In the news:

Sometimes, we find questions in the archives: A Flag Of Freedom?

And sometimes we find answers (even if they aren’t the ones we are looking for): Nighthawks State of Mind

About Cincinnati State Archives

This is the official blog of the archives of Cincinnati State Technical & Community College. The blog will highlight important photos, documents, exhibits, and other items which chronicle the history of Cincinnati State.
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