Old Colony’s Cameron Center houses years’ worth of ENC’s important, and often intriguing, documents
The documents in the archive range from old issues of the Campus Camera (the student newspaper), to telegrams written to past presidents, to legal papers such as wills and expansion plans.
The ENC archiving team is composed of Archives Project Manager Leslie Graham (a volunteer), Archives Administrator Erin McCoy, and junior Hannah Pepper. Senior Maegan Bourne has worked with the ENC archives for two years previously and is still involved in some of the team’s efforts.
The team works together to manage the donations they receive as well as seek contributions from retiring staff and faculty. These donations are used for archival upkeep, like treating documents in order to slow deterioration and making them available to the public.
“The ENC Archives serves as the memory of the college collecting and preserving materials representing the cultural heritage of ENC and our neighbors,” Graham stated.
“The goal of the archives is to keep the college grounded in her identity,” McCoy followed. “That doesn’t mean we are stuck in the past, but means we provide the evidence of who we are and our foundation goals as an institution.”
On Saturday, March 21 the ENC archiving team and Bourne attended the annual meeting of the New England Archivists in Boston. The two students attending were given a scholarship from the Provost’s office to cover the fees and expenses of the conference.
The conference provided an opportunity for the team to understand their work, as well as the gaps in organization and improvement.
Many archivists attended from all over the eastern US with the common desire to preserve and share “the heritage of human experience with all who care to learn.”
The New England Archivists conference had a lasting impact on Pepper.
“The conference made me consider myself in terms of professional assets and skills instead of a student work with the skills and assets. I want to use archiving as a way to preserve the diverse past, specifically queer history,” Pepper commented.
The ENC archiving team works to preserve the diverse and rich past of ENC. Through the archiving process, the team progressively understands what makes ENC distinct, while tapping into the legacy of the school through documents left behind.
The part Graham loves most about this process is the discovery.
“You may be going through an old dust box of things someone donated and find a truly amazing document or photograph. As with most archives, there are so many boxes full of material that has not had human eyes on it for many, many, years so it can be really exciting to feel like, perhaps you may be the very first person to notice the value in a particular item.”