Thursday, October 4, 2012

Uncommon Archives Usage- Archives Month

First, let me apologize for the generic-ness of this post. It does not specifically pertain to Greenwich history, but I think it will be of interest to you.

I earned my undergrad in History from SUNY New Paltz in 1998, & have been contacted for money countless times. However, in recent years New Paltz has been sending out an occasionally interesting magazine. I received the latest copy the other day & came across a very interesting article about another alum from the History Department.

In the Alumni Profile*, Anders Parker ('95) talks about going to the Woody Guthrie Archives located in Mt Kisco, NY ( What I find so intriguing is what came out of that visit. They weren't writing a scholarly paper, or a book, Anders and his musical colleagues were there doing research to compose songs. They used previously unused Woody Guthrie lyrics to create contemporary folk renditions for the album "New Multitudes," a near pitch-perfect tribute to Guthrie in the year of his 100th birthday. (for a more in depth look at this project see below.^)

This project illustrates the power & use of archives. They can be utilized for so much more than genealogy & historical research. Archives can help bring beauty into the world. They can continue the legacy of an icon. What project will you use archives for? Designing a quilt? Inspiration for a poem or children's book? Research for a play or documentary? Visit me in the Town Offices, or visit the Gill Room in the basement of the Greenwich Free Library. Visit the County Historian or the Washington County Archives in Fort Edward.


The above video about Parker and company using the Woody Guthrie Archives is from Rounder Records on YouTube-

If you are interested in the album, check it out on Amazon-

* The New Paltz Magazine, Fall 2012, p.18

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