Posted by: tjholmesjr | March 27, 2009

Digging for Archives

The first place I go to find out what happened in any historical content is the Internet. And why not? The World Wide Web can take seconds to find what you’re searching for, depending on what type of Internet connection you have.

The Web makes it easier and quicker to find historical data. I can remember in elementary school using the card catalog just to go find a book in our tiny library. Of course it is hard for my generation to imagine trying to do that with the availability of the Internet. Chico State’s library still has a card catalog today but they also have an online version, which is the one everyone uses.

Online newspapers, social networking Web sites and YouTube make it easier for people to access archived files from the past. The Web allows you to view stories, photos, and videos at the click of a mouse that are of great historical importance. Videos are uploaded of President Obama’s inaugural speech, which is a historical landmark. Before the Web, you would only be allowed to read, hear, or see the speech live on television or in person. These videos can hopefully last for the future for people too see the first black president be sworn in.

It’s a major step in technology for the access of these archived files, but what about the importance of the physical newspaper? I was given a notebook of newspaper clippings that my father had throughout his high school and college days and I cherish every single one. It is a special bond I have with them. It makes it unique because I am probably the only one with possession of the newspaper besides some library in Iowa where it’s probably sitting in the basement.

With the rapid development of new technologies for the Web, newspapers are fading but the news is still there. Archived files are making it easier to find what you’re looking for. Within the archives, you can still read the story and do what you want with it, but you can’t get the personal satisfaction of it being published in print.

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