Update 6 – The Past Daily Emergency Fundraiser: ‘I Turned The Page And It Changed My Life!’

Embarrassing moments.
Embarrassing moments.

Ending up the second week of Past Daily’s Emergency Fundraiser, there’s cause for cautious optimism. So many of you have turned out and made your pledges over the last day that it’s given me hope we may get there by the deadline. But we’re still a little less than halfway to our goal. We still need your help. We’re still appealing for your tax-deductible contributions to keep us safe and functioning.

A lot of you have asked why I don’t turn the archives over to a University or Institution, since it’s getting dangerous with all the threats of eviction and fears of the Great Dumpster arriving to haul everything away.

Honestly, I’ve tried and have been almost completely turned down. Why? Because most Universities I’ve contacted have their own space problems, and their priorities are with film and video not with radio and audio. I fell into preserving audio because that’s how I started this thing – one day, home from school with my parents tape recorder, recording off the radio when the first bulletins of President Kennedy’s Assassination came on. And it’s been preserving audio ever since.

Maybe all of this would be different if I collected film instead. But truths to tell, before the days of the Citizen Journalist and iPhone, history on film was a bit limited, and it was more difficult to tell a story or give an eyewitness account than radio was. Sadly, radio has since taken a distant backseat in the grand scheme of things and most people don’t think of it as too much more than a place of talk shows and conspiracy theories. But it wasn’t always that way, and it still isn’t that way in other countries. The BBC still does regular radio documentaries and in-depth analysis of news events. But not so here, and we’re all the poorer for it.

That’s part of the reason I started Past Daily. Like most University libraries and Institutions, I believe that history and its preservation is vital to our society – not so much as a nostalgic look at the past as much as a focal point on events unfolding in the present and shaping our future. Almost everything that is happening in 2015 has happened in some form before. It’s the adage, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results”. Much of what is taking place in our present has already taken place in our past in some shape or form. And to be aware of it, to be able to look at the links between behaviors then and now; how solutions were arrived at, or not, and to see how events unfolded give, at least to me, a better understanding of how things are unfolding now. How things can likely turn out or change based on our prior knowledge. Of course, people are different, times are different, social standards are different. But the core of human behavior is timeless – and it’s the ability to look at that, to study it as a casual observer which may not make the present or the future such a terrifying thing.

Where I differ from most University libraries and Institutions is my strong desire to make all this history, all these events, accessible at your fingertips. Having an archive does no one any good if it’s sitting in a dark room gathering dust. And so many archives are doing just that. I’m here because you’re interested and, like you, I love knowing about things.

So all of this is a roundabout way of telling you why I’m doing it – why I have Past Daily – why I have almost a million hours of sounds and events and history – and why I need your help.

That’s why your tax deductible contribution is so important, no matter how much it is. Whether it’s $5.00 or $500.00 it’s all needed and it’s all put to good use. I will be here as long as you are, as long as you’re interested in listening to history, or hearing news things – we haven’t started talking about Music yet. We’ll get to that in our next installment.

But for now – please be part of the solution and make your pledge to keep Past Daily up and active and the Archive safe from the wrecking ball. Your contributions make all the difference in the world. And if you can’t, or just aren’t one of those people who make donations (I completely respect that), tell your friends. We need all of you. There’s not much time left, so please consider making your pledge today. Click on the link below and make a difference.

Till next time . . . .

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