No one could disagree that 2020 will be seen as a historic year indeed. The word “unprecedented” barely expresses what our community, state, and nation are grappling with—the world is suddenly an uncertain, unreliable, and potentially dangerous place.
Compared to what’s happening in the wide world outside of our town, NYHS’s situation seems like a small blip on the radar screen. Still, the coronavirus has hit us hard. Our archives are closed and inaccessible to NYHS researchers and to the public; our Annual Meeting was abruptly canceled (but we are rescheduling!); our plans for moving the Old Town House have been set back; our Board of Directors now meets online.
But, of course, history marches on: history being made right now AND history of the past: history that teaches us and informs our present-day world.
As for past history, we’ve decided that a great way to keep connected with all who enjoy North Yarmouth history and want to learn more is to step forward into the online world and offer articles and updates right here on our website that history lovers would enjoy. Our team of writers and researchers have used online sources and pulled material from their personal collections to spotlight here for you. Enjoy, and let us know what you think.
And as for history being made right now, here’s a thought. We would dearly love to read letters that were written, or journals or diaries that were kept in North Yarmouth during the 1918 and 1919 Influenza Pandemic. But we don’t have any of that material in our collections. (And even if we did, we can’t get into the Archives right now to take a look!) How fascinating it would be to read what someone was experiencing right then and there.
Past history is asking for our attention, with a heartfelt piece of advice: A true gift to future generations would be for YOU to set down your own story about our current situation. Look around and record what is happening with you, your family, your community. Write it down, send it to someone, type it into a document on your computer, snap some photos. Historians in 100 years will be referring to YOUR account. And they will be forever thankful. NYHS thanks you, too, right now, as you craft the history of your community.