History & Archives Weekend – June 25-27, 2021

The Psi Upsilon History & Archives committee was created last year and charged with researching the materials in our archives, sharing stories with our brotherhood, and preserving and making the archives accessible for research.

*THANK YOU* to the brothers from the committee who traveled to Indianapolis in June to work on the archives and craft policies around its maintenance. For those unfamiliar with the archives, they currently occupy several rooms at the international office and contain material dating back to the founding of Psi Upsilon. The archives have grown over time through alumni donations, came into possession after a chapter closed, are the records of a Convention, International Office, Executive Council, or Foundation and even find their way to us from family estates. Organizing them is a daunting task, to say the least.

The Diamond and Annals materials section of the Publications room
A shot from the Friday night open house.
Pictured L.R.: Mariann H. Williams, Chi Delta ’17 (Duke University ); Alex Senchak, Eta ’06; Mark A. Williams, CFRE, Phi ’76 (University of Michigan); Clifford Edmisten, Gamma Tau ’00 (Georgia Tech); Thomas Fox, Omicron ’00; Robert E. McIntire, Omicron ’68 (University of Illinois), Renee Beck, Jonathan Chaffin, Gamma Tau ’00 (Georgia Tech).

Some highlights from the weekend included:
•Consolidating all Diamond issues and creation materials, written convention records, and serial publications into the newly created Publications room.
•Creating a sorting area where materials can live as donated and practiced/refined the Intake procedure and sorted/organized some items donated by David A. B. Brown, Epsilon Phi ’66 (McGill University), Henry Poor, Gamma ’39 (Amherst), and several boxes of material from the Rho Chapter at Wisconsin.
•Identifying several multimedia items for immediate digitization and materials for a presentation at convention.
•Discovering a “magic lantern” set of etched glass slides from the early 1900s which includes many of the photos used in the Annals, including alternate views of some early chapter-houses.
•Refining policies and procedures around the archives including in-scope, out of-scope, and collection guidelines.
•Having a great meet and greet at the office, and wonderful fellowship and meals.

Clifford Edmisten, Gamma Tau ’00 (Georgia Tech) created a photo gallery from the weekend that you can view here. As you look through the pictures, you can see both how much was accomplished and how much interesting work there is to do!

Committee Chair and de factor curator Evan W. Terry, Epsilon Phi ’93 (McGill University) said it best: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” During this work weekend we got started with better organizing the archives, formalized how we intake and catalog materials, made improvements to storage, and assessed needs going forward.

3 of 20 shelves of mostly unindexed and unsorted materials in one room.
Identifying the theme of a slide carousel from 1986
Sorting new materials into the archives

Again, we are so thankful for all the time the committee spent on this important work , we’ve identified some important items to digitize and share as we continue to improve our digital archive site and look forward to sharing some of these gems at the 177th Convention in Madison, WI later this month.

If you are interested in financially supporting the work of the History & Archives committee contact the Foundation Chairman Alexander Senchak, Eta ’06 (Lehigh) or you may make a gift here.

For information about attending the next History & Archives open house, Sept. 17-19, contact Director of Member Engagement Jonathan Chaffin, Gamma Tau ’00 (Georgia Tech).

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