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Archiving Good Ol’ Haskell: An Open House with University of Michigan Graduate Students
April 20 @ 7:00 pm - 7:45 pm
Dear neighbors, In the fall of 2021, I was able to answer a reference question from someone who’d grown up in Wanaque in the 1950s. This person wanted to know the name of the store where everyone had to purchase their gym class uniforms. That’s not the kind of information you can find in a reference book, but luckily I remembered we have a very active local history Facebook group in town, Good Ol’ Haskell. I searched the group and quickly found the name of the store (The Clover Shop). That experience got me thinking about the value of this Facebook group and how it could contribute to the local history knowledge in our community.
So, in January 2022, Wanaque Public Library began a long-distance collaboration with two graduate students who were enrolled in an Archival Practices class at the University of Michigan School of Information. The students, Rachael and Alex, worked with me and with the Good Ol’ Haskell group to collect and index posts (and comments on posts) that relate to the collective memory of our community. Now that they have completed their Archival Practices class and finished their work, I’ve asked Rachael and Alex to join us for a virtual “Open House” this Wednesday evening (April 20th) from 7 to 7:30 pm. They’ll tell us a bit about their project, the topics they chose to index, and some of the interesting tidbits they learned about our community.
This open house is an opportunity for everyone to meet each other and talk about our shared interest in Wanaque and Haskell history, and how Facebook groups like Good Ol’ Haskell can be important contributors to local history knowledge, just as important as our local history archival collections. I think that Alex and Rachel will agree with me when I say that this Facebook group shows that history is a living thing, not just something we read about in textbooks. Social media groups such as this one can encourage communication and community engagement and allow people to express their personal thoughts and engage in conversation about historic events.
Here’s the information to join the Zoom Open House on Wednesday, April 20th at 7 pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86122128627 (meeting ID: 861 2212 8627). I hope to “see” you on Wednesday night at 7, but if you can’t attend, I’ll record the event and can provide a recording so you can view it at your convenience. Warmly, Mary Martin, Wanaque Library Director