Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Write it Down

Any of you that came to the Underground Railroad Tour of Greenwich in June will remember the message from tour guide Cliff Oliver, "Write it down." He gave us this nugget of advice because many members of the Congregational Church involved in the Underground Railroad left written records of what happened, what they did, how they helped with the cause. Without this first hand documentation, we as historians would be in the dark as to the involvement of the citizens of Greenwich & Easton in the Abolition Movement.

Just some of my personal diaries

Did these citizens have a sense of their part in history? Is that why they took pains to record their part? In this particular case, I think so. But what about us? Do we realize our unique place in history? As an historian, I think I do. I keep a diary; a daily account of my everyday life. I also keep a number of journals; including ideas for embroidery patterns, poems, prose, ramblings & musings about various topics, an exercise log, etc. I also have 2 blogs, this one & one that is an extension of my embroidery design journal.

May 8, 2011 diary entry of Tisha Dolton

What about you? Do you journal or blog? Are you a diarist? If so, do you have a plan for what becomes of your writings & records? In my official capacity as Town Historian, those records belong to the citizens of the town & will stay in the custody of the Town of Greenwich, but what about my person records? I've been thinking about this more & more, as I completed my Information Science degree & while I was interning at the NY State Archives. Where would be the best repository to entrust my records? The Gill Room? My Alma Mater, & if so, which one? Hmmm...

Diary entry of February 24, 2007- Tisha Dolton

July 15, 2005 diary entry of Tisha Dolton

As you can see, my own diary entries are nothing earth-shattering, but they are my own. They provide a look into my life as a single parent, raising her daughter in the same house with her parents in rural, upstate NY. If my diaries were the only ones to survive, would this paint an accurate picture of history?
Diary entry of July 5, 2004- Tisha Dolton

If you want your story to be told, "Write it down." (Then preserve it in an archives.)

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