Recently I had to wander into the realm of scrapbooking, though not because I was going to learn the art form. I had decided that I need a handsome portfolio to display if I was going to be doing various expos. An idea helped along by the fact that the Spfld Art Association was having a sale of scrapbook materials. Amongst these was a little book on how to improve your handwriting. Now _that_ I needed! For in truth my handwriting has been compared to bad hieroglyphics!
This, in turn, led to an interesting discussion with a friend about how little of the the written word, from letters and business transactions, was going to be saved for future generations. He feared, and rightly so, that huge portions of culture and history was going to lost into the electronic ether.
Much of what we know of the past comes from the happenstance survivals of memoirs, records, ledgers and letters. And how many of us have marveled, even briefly, at seeing the handwriting from a hundred or more years ago?
This is probably going to be a lost feeling in a hundred years or so.
And yet, the ones who may be creating written heirlooms are the scrapbook afficionaidos. As is evidenced by that little instruction manual on improving your handwriting there is a desire to personalize through writing. To show snippets of lives, not only in the form of photos and art, but by handwriting the contents.
Lets hope that the families of these scrapbookers recognize the cultural value for future generations.
And I wonder if scrapbooking, and similar artistic efforts, are not a means to hold back the full thrust of the electronic age just a little longer.
I am a Springfield, IL based storyteller with a fascination for how folklore travels, and for history.