Today my blog entry about my first month interning with the Theodore Roosevelt Center was published. I discuss the similarities I found between the discourse used in the election of 1912 (when Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third party candidate) and the election of 2012.
100 years has passed, but we are still fighting some of the same battles. Frank Harper, Roosevelt’s secretary, would recognize many of our country’s problems today and I think he’d respond in the same way. Yes we have made some great strides forward in areas that the Progressive Party stood for, but others are right back where they use to be. Though it makes me sad to see history repeating itself, these common problems also help to create a bond between us and those people who lived, worked, played, and suffered a century ago.
The professional world I am trying to carve out for myself is an odd one and sometimes I wonder if I am doomed to be forever a daughter of two different worlds of thought.
As this blog proclaims my passion is history and I believe everyone should easily have access to it. However, I elected to pursue a Masters of Library and Information Science and not a Masters of Arts in History or even Public History. Why did I do this?
Well one word: Archivess
Let’s make that two words: Digital Archives
I believe that both creating digital archives focused on digital preservation and digitization of print materials will bring history to the people where they are — online.
I was turned on to this idea actually in a class categorized as an introduction to the field of Public History during my undergrad. I worked as an intern in both a traditional archive setting creating finding aids and a digital archive (we called it a digital memory project). I loved my work at the digital archive and it brought me the library and information science world.
However, when I dig into the archival world through blogs and tweets I feel as if archivists are viciously defending their profession from others like public historians. It gives me an uneasy feeling since I seriously considered going down that path or even pursuing both an MA in Public History and a MLIS.
My doubts have been eased to a degree by a recent post in The Signal. Butch Lazorchak “daydream[ed] about a time (ideally in the not-so-distant future) when librarians, archivists and museum professionals rule the world.” I too daydream about such a time especially when these three groups release embrace each other as all being Information Professionals and not pointing out the differences of our day to day operations.
I hope as a proceed especially in the digital preservation area of the profession that I will meet liked minded collaborators and get to work with a wide range of my fellow LAM brethren.