|Madeline Olivia. “Remember...” 2010-Jul-30. http://flic.kr/p/8o6z4d|
Starting From The Beginning
Before delving into the topic of memory projects, let’s take a moment and consider memory.
According to How It Works, “Memory is the brain’s ability to recall information from the past and it generally falls into three categories – sensory, short term and long-term.”
How It Works go on to explain our ability to look at something like this page, then close our eyes and recall what this page looks like is an example of our sensory memory. If we determine this page is important then it will likely be passed to our short-term memory. There's a good chance short-term will fade away over a period time. Meanwhile, certain information we deem important enough will be passed along into a long-term memory storage and recall is possible for extended periods of time.
Thus, remembering is our ability to bring to our minds an awareness of something that we have seen, known, or experienced in the past. Perhaps, there is no better way to stimulate the process of remembering than to present opportunities of being re-associated with what first initiated a memory.
This is how memory projects work. We preserve the objects that will help us to remember by stimulating our memory.
While formal memory projects have been created by state funded agencies, such as the Florida Memories project, and private projects between coalition partners have set out to do create a World Memory Project, the premier memory project is the American Memory Project.
American Memory Project is part of the United States Library of Congress’ National Digital Library Program. It is an online archive of more than 9 million digitized resources that document U.S. history and culture.
American Memory is organized into more than 100 thematic collections based on their original format, their subject matter, or who first created, assembled, or donated them to the library. The collections contain photographs, prints, posters, maps, sound recordings, motion pictures, books, pamphlets, and sheet music. The Learning Page is a companion to the American Memory collections. The Learning Page includes ideas and instructions for classroom use of specific collections in American Memory.
Start Your Own Memory Project
Let’s face it, we are all at the center of our own historic period, each steeped full of memories created by us. Shouldn't those be available to be shared in a way that allows us to connect now and with generations to come?
One of the best first steps in getting started is to get a copy of Melissa Mannon’s book; The Unofficial Family Archivist: A Guide to Creating and Maintaining Family Papers, Photographs, and Memorabilia. This authoritative written work focuses on the care of personal papers, photographs, and memorabilia found in the typical home. It is written for individuals who wish to protect family history touching on most everything the unofficial archivist will need to be successful. It offers practical solutions for real people wanting to protect their heritage items. The book is divided out into easy to follow chapters on relevant topics such as; organization, photographs, personal papers, electronic files, putting your collection online, and much more.
So, if you don’t have your own memory project started decide today to start! It is easier that you might think. Today’s resources allow for ease of access to a treasure trove of materials that will support you on a journey sure to endure for generations to come.
Watch video of Melissa Mannon, author of, The Unofficial Family Archivist
|Digital Directions is sponsored by E-Z Photo Scan where making digital preservation easy is our mission. Visit E-Z Photo Scan to learn more about the possibilities for achieving your digital preservation goals. E-Z Photo Scan is also part of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance and member of its Outreach Working Group.|