Blog Post #1
This born digital item is of a screenshot of an email sent to Rowan University transfer students in 2021, before the Fall semester. It is in reference to the online virtual orientation, as a way for transfer students to meet others and learn more about Rowan University. It came a year after the outburst of Covid-19, and when mask mandates were still required in public settings and at the University.
In reflecting on contributing an item to a collection, there are a few things that come to mind. First, digital collections make learning and viewing documents accessible to everyone. There are many, especially students, who’ve experienced college life under a pandemic with ample documents that could show a future generation how university life was during the Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s face it, it will be very difficult for future generations to grasp what was once a foreign concept, a pandemic. As we grow more removed from March 2020, it will become harder to recall exact details and documents will be lost, especially if they only exist on phones. With that, I am happy to add something to the growing collection found here.
Looking at an article from 2003, many years before Covid-19 and before the real boom of digital history, Roy Rosenzweig has something interesting to say. He says, “The “system” for preserving the past that has evolved over centuries is in crisis, and historians need to take hand in building a new system for the coming century.” In 2023, more history is online than ever before. I can find original scanned documents from the Revolutionary War, although hard to read, or a transcribed journal of an American slave. As Rosenzweig says, I believe that historians and archivists, have created a system for future generations to follow in preserving history in the modern digital age.
Rosenzweig, Roy. “Scarcity or Abundance? Preserving the Past in a Digital Era.” The American Historical Review 108, no. 3 (2003): 735–62. https://doi.org/10.1086/529596.