Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Original Definition Of An Archivist

Have you noticed how nowadays some folks seem to align themselves with their new self-appointed title of being, 'an archivist.' It's like they just woke-up and decided it was fitting for them. Huh! I'm sorry to say but the educated world is not buying-in to your terminology. It sounds to me like someone's inflated ego has a distorted view of the official definition of this noble profession. No offense Mr. hobbyist but nice try. Drawing a parallel between a collector of relics and a career profession is a bit of a stretch. Significantly, people don't just suddenly anointed themselves with the unearned title such as being a chemist, a biologist, veterinarian, or as the case here, being an actual archivist. Those professions are very specific career distinctions and vocations that are earned through either an educational degrees or dedicated career assignments. What I'm saying here is the actual meaning of this dignified profession has suddenly taken on a new definition by people on Facebook who are trying to attach this definition to their namesake. This has become like a fad on social media by people overstating their glorified hobbies such as collecting the likes of old concert posters, ticket stubs, t-shirts, photos and backstage passes. Plus, displaying old pictures on your Facebook page taken from your High School yearbook hardly defines the official definition of being an archive, or much less, an archivist. As impressive as anyone's assortment of collectibles might be, or might not be, titles of that prominence are not self-imposed by the collector. Truth is, they are earned and distinguished in time by recognition from one's peers.

Supported by the fact that I grew-up in a modest household and raised by a mom who had a college degree and was a career librarian, that distinction has authenticated my understanding of the profession. By all accounts, my internship into this vocation came from actually living under the same roof with a librarian for over 20+ years. Believe me, I learned at a very early age the importance of the preservation of all documentation such as printed matter, photographs or sound recordings. Plus, preserving any of those three distinct elements within your own long-time possession can only personify the official definition.  

Back in April of 2005, long before many folks were even online - much less knew the official definition of a Blog, that's when The Photolog launched it's very first globally distributed posting on the internet. By the way and just in case you didn't know, that was several years before Facebook mind you. At that time we rolled-up our sleeves and went-out on a limb while displaying our very own collection of photographs combined with our authentic first person stories. Since that time we've been making monthly increments on our blog while always displaying original material. Fact is, we were posting our own reference archives and personal photographs dating back to the 1960's and 1970's  - long before they became overly redundant on Facebook. Not slapping ourselves on our own back here, but here we are in April, 2014, and now we've grown to the ripe old age of 9 years old this month. Hope you don't mind us saying but Happy Birthday to The Photolog. Got track record?   
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