The Dragon's Head Blog: Tales from the Archive II
The FLK Archive Project is an initiative to identify, organize and preserve documents that are essential to the history of the organization. This includes photos, videos, pamphlets, newsletters, annual reports, correspondence and many other materials. Allison Hasselfield is a volunteer at the International Centre who is currently involved in getting this project off the ground; Tales from the Archive is her opportunity to provide a window in on what she is doing.
How do we determine which objects are the most important to our history? As I go through this project, some things immediately interest me, while others take a while to grow in my mind. I can get much more excited about an old pamphlet or photo than a stack of meeting minutes. However, those things are important to our history too.
I recently spent two hours looking through the International Centre folder in a filing cabinet at our Bathurst location. The items that caught my interest included:
– A pamphlet entitled “The Conservatory,” outlining the Taoist Tai Chi Society’s intention to find a “country facility” to support the training of a growing pool of members.
– A yellowed invitation to the Grand Opening of the Taoist Tai Chi Health Centre, on April 23rd, 1988.
– Original site plans for the International Centre, with the original buildings: “Barn and Office Building,” “Metal Building”, “Frame Building,” and “2-storey brick building” from May 30th, 1984.
The rest of the file contained a stack of type-written, 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper: Meeting minutes from the Conservatory Committee, which was later the Taoist Tai Chi Centre Committee. Letters to and from the Board of Directors. Press Releases and Public Service Announcements regarding programs. These items don’t give me immediate chills, but their content is ineffably important. Without them, the International Centre as we know it would not exist.
These documents tell a story, indirectly: the story of the inauguration of the International Centre. Is it important that we keep all of them? How much of their content will we want to be able to find online? And how will we categorize and tag them in the most useful and effective way?
One final item of note, was something that I overlooked initially: a small pink slip, a receipt for a donation of $1,071.40. For the Taoist Conservatory Building Fund. From Master Moy.
– Allison Hasselfield