Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Archives, with Issues

This is something of what I hope to accomplish with my archive, someday:

The Model Horse Hobby has similar conservation issues, especially with early mimeographed items. The mimeographed items I have I keep in my office, completely out of the reach of direct sunlight.

One point in our favor is that model horse zines didn’t start appearing until the 1960s; the materials are still in the hands of the original recipients, for the most part. Many of our earliest participants are still with us, and still active.

On the negative, we were – collectively – much younger when we started publishing, too, and it also shows in the formatting. I have at least one early newsletter that was done as a carbon copy, on onionskin paper. Round robins – where one person started a “book” and each subsequent recipient added to the book before mailing it on – were also a popular early format, and not likely to survive.

(I came in at the very, very tail end of that. I might have the one I received, somewhere: I remember getting it and thinking “What is this?”)

One of the other reasons for my end-of-year sales push is – I hope – to generate enough money to buy more archival store materials, to accommodate some of the latest arrivals.

Everything is safe as it is right now, but I would like to upgrade some of the storage (a) for my own peace of mind, and (b) to make a show of its significance and importance, in case arrangements for its aftercare are not already in place in event of something dire happening to me. (In short: This is important – take care of it!)

I also wanted to make a point of linking to this article because I’ve always considered the Model Horse Hobby to be, in some ways, another facet of Fandom itself, and that can be seen in the sheer amount of ephemera we both generated, and how similar they both look and feel.

(Another point in common: content. A few older hobby zines from the 1970s have first-person Worldcon reports!)

As the article – and some of its links – allude to, another issue with conservation is that the authors of some of the materials don’t want them preserved. I’ve definitely run across some materials that would probably fit in that category, too, mostly disputes and feuds long since forgotten. (But not all!)

Lucky for us, most of the “naughtiest” stuff is associated with breeding/pedigree assignment, and even that is pretty tame.


Little Black Car said...

(I'm an assistant in an historical archive. Not an archivist--no MLIS or CA--but everything I do is supervised by archivists.)

Welcome to our world, where you need at least a B.A. to spend an incredible amount of time Xeroxing fading thermofaxes. The digital age is making our jobs exponentially harder, too. Paper has its own preservation issues, but when so many newsletters and correspondence no longer have physical formats, preservation is that much harder. Computers crash and take files with them. Burned CD's don't last indefinitely. Printing and filing is still the safest option, but it takes so much time, money, and storage space.

Dressagekid said...

What is your vender info on MH$P? You might have some cool horses and I wouldn't mind taking a look at your ads.