Fifty, One Hundred, Maybe Two Hundred Years From Today...Your Voice Can Be Heard
Thu, 03/26/2020 - 11:13am Heraldgroton
Fifty, a hundred, maybe two hundred years from now, Groton will confront a crisis reminding some residents of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. They will search the internet [or maybe in the future just access the ‘hive mind’ directly] seeking stories about the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020. More than likely, one of the sources searched, a place where the record of Groton’s daily life is stored and catalogued will be the online archive of the Groton Herald at the GPL.
As some are aware, the full 40-plus-year catalog of the Groton Herald newspaper is being preserved in archival form by generous grants from the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation. Much of the Herald archive is already scanned and will be made available by the Groton Public Library for free online searches. The newspaper’s archive is a historical record of our town’s daily life, a sort of intimate town diary.
Interestingly, the historical reach of the newspaper archive significantly exceeds its 41 years of publication because stories from the early part of the twentieth century based on reminiscences by older Groton residents were documented in the early years of this newspaper’s publication.
The Groton Herald has already done a lot of reporting on the Covid-19 pandemic in the last two editions of the paper. But, years from now, most researches will not care about such immediate actions and news since it will all have been processed as "history." But researchers will be most fascinated by how people lived and reacted to the pandemic, how they lived their daily lives.
Imagine, a hundred years in the future, a family member discovering a letter you wrote describing your reaction to the pandemic, your concern for your children, your husband or wife, your neighbors. It may be that you can give your great great granddaughter or grandson the ultimate "flash from the past," leading them directly "back to the future."
Historians have bemoaned the fact that in this era of texts, tweets and email, there is no longer a written and preserved record of how ordinary people responded to world events – no letters home from battle fronts, no diary or journal entries, no personal notes or postcards. But we are in the midst of an historic period and each of us is a player in these critical times.
The Groton Herald, conscious that the paper will be an important record in years to come of how we survived this crisis, invites readers to write to us: email: firstname.lastname@example.org or actual letters: Groton Herald, PO Box 610, Groton 01450, describing how the epidemic is affecting their lives. How are you coping with work? How about children who are at home rather than in school? How has your life changed? We need to know who wrote the letter, but if requested, we can withhold names.
We will read and edit letters for clarity and length but this is a chance for your own voice to be recorded for generations to come and we hope many of our readers will take this opportunity to reflect on how this crisis has affected them.
Why not send a message, a "message in a bottle," a message dropped into the ocean of time, a message to be discovered, read and contemplated years from now?
Please send comments to email@example.com