Temple Urban Archives

For our last site visit we went to the Urban Archives at Paley Library.  I had never been to the Urban Archives before, however I had been to an archives before since the institution that I am focusing on is the National Archives.  I was particularly interested in learning about these archives, because my visit to the National Archives, didn’t give me a great impression of how archives operate.  I am particularly interested in archives, because I see them as basically the house of all knowledge.  They house information that affects and pertains to everyone, which to me, makes them very powerful institutions.  After visiting the Urban Archives, my confidence in archives was reaffirmed.  Walking through the back room, and getting to see the stacks of photographs from decades past, was exactly what I was expecting.  I could happily send hours looking through that material.  One of the coolest parts of the tour was at the very end, some of us stayed behind to ask some more questions, and to see the Steenbeck machine in action.  I had never experienced anything quite like it before; watching a news real from the 60’s on a tiny screen; seeing civil rights riots and press conferences.  Whether this is true or not, it felt was as if we were the first people seeing these video’s since they were first filmed.  I think this speaks to one of the powerful things about archives.  The history that is publicized for the world to know, is really only a fraction of the information, but archives have the remaining pieces.

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