A Look Back and a Look Forward: One Archivist’s Thoughts

Category: Heritage

Noraleen Duvall Young

Alpha Chi, Purdue

The end of a year often makes one reflect on the past year while making plans for the upcoming new year. For an archivist, looking back is a part of the job, and during 2015, I had the opportunity to look back at some interesting aspects of Theta’s history. Among my favorites (and in case you missed it the first time), here are my top five (it’s so hard to pick!):

1.“NPC Badge Day: Every Badge Has a Story” blog
2. “Postcards: The Instagram of Their Day” Magazine article
3. “’Ask an Archivist Day’ Recap” blog. It was fun to spend the day answering all kinds of questions about Theta history and what we have in the archive.
4. “A Lucky Find in the Theta Archive: A Good Photo with a Great Backstory” blog. Sometimes things come together to reflect a bit more on what has happened in the past.
5. Facebook/Instagram post about the 1966 Dad’s Day folding stadium seat. Again thank you Kathy Schweer for helping to identify it and connect it to one of our chapters.

Looking forward to 2016 and beyond, my Theta archive-specific New Year’s resolutions are:

1. Learn more about Bettie Tipton Lindsey and share it as we celebrate her and her commitment to service during 2016.
2. Help preserve the history of our members and chapters as they document their Theta experience. If you would like some tips about how to go about doing that, check out our “Best Practices” with tips on how to create and manage a digital archive, preserve your paper-based materials, and share that history.
3. Prepare for the 150th anniversary of the Fraternity in 2020. For the archive, that means to continue to process, catalog, and digitize (if possible) materials in the collection to provide resources for our upcoming celebration. The archive is always interested in additions to the collections. Contact me at archives@kappaalphatheta.org if you have something to donate.
4. Read books by Thetas. This year I am going to add some titles by Theta authors to my reading list. I want to read work by Mary Ritter Beard, Alpha/DePauw, considered one of the first women’s historians as well as titles from Theta’s numerous fiction authors.
5. Answer your questions about Theta’s history and its members. I always learn something new about the Fraternity with every question that I get!

Happy New Year!