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◊; Copyright 2019 by Joel Dueck. All Rights Reserved.

◊(define-meta published "2019-04-11")

◊title{What Should People Do With Old Journals?}

When I die, I’ll leave behind a lot of ◊index{journals} and notebooks. These may be of
interest to my immediate family, but they won’t exactly be great leisure reading. The only obvious
choices are to keep them in a box in the attic, or eventually throw them out.

There ought to be a third choice. Even the most mundane journal has great value simply because it
contains lots of historical information about current thinking, lifestyle habits, values, and events,
things which change wildly over long time periods.

On the receiving end, suppose you inherit your great-grandfather’s journal; he has been dead for
decades and you never knew him personally. If you can find the time, you pore over it for an hour or
two, deciphering the handwriting. You learn some facts about him and how he looked at things. What
happens after that?

I have an idea that there should be an ◊index[#:key "archives"]{archive}, a public repository for
things like this. You could send in your great-grandfather’s journal for use by future historians.
They would digitize or transcribe it, analyze it, and tag it with metadata about who wrote it, when
they wrote it, and generally what topics they wrote about. They could allow you to specify that it
must remain private until a specified date, and provide you with a digital copy, or even a nice hard
copy if you wanted to pay a little extra.

This would give researchers a huge resource to draw upon, and allow the full value of old journals
(the sentimental ◊em{and} the historic value) to be realized, without compromising anyone’s
privacy.