Digital Archive

I really enjoyed this unit and how digital archives can create connections. Recording, sharing, evaluating, and archiving past and present history digitally allows for an accelerated and vast reach. The readings, video and sites from this week demonstrated how important it is to ensure not only that the history be correct and representative of the people it tells the story of and how imperative it is to collaborate with the history makers. I found the TK knowledge site eye opening and after reading about the different labels, it made me really think about how important it is to share the stories digitally with permission and accuracy. Reading the CUNY Distance Learning Archive allowed me to step into the shoes of the students and faculty during the recent pandemic. I was working during that time, and I wish we recorded and digitally archived the experience to have the history but to also allow others to understand the impact of my company and coworkers.  I was living in California during the time of Sept 11 and although I knew people that lived in NY and experienced that time, reading the articles and looking at the photos that I never saw gave me pause to what so many people in NYC and other areas went through.

My husband’s family is from the island of Kefalonia in Greece and on a visit many years ago, he recorded conversations he had with his grandmother. He is trying to locate the recordings for me, and I hope to be able to translate and watch the videos and along with the old photographs put together a digital archive of his family’s history. During World War II, in 1941, the island was occupied by the Italian troops which were allied with the Germans. In 1943, Italy capitulated but its troupes refused to leave from Kefalonia. As a punishment, the German forces killed more than 5000 Italian soldiers, a historic fact described in the famous book Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, written by Louis de Bernieres. Then in August of 1953, a huge earthquake destroyed the largest part of Kefalonia and demolished most villages of the island. This past weekend, I spent some time looking through his family photo albums that his grandmother kept and thought it would be fun to share some with you all (photos are over 50 years old). Gotta love the creativity of parents back then!

By FY 2024, NARA will digitize 500 million pages of records and make them available online to the public through the National Archives Catalog.