Monday, May 12, 2008

The more recent past...

I read an interesting article from the National Trust Historic Sites' blog this morning about interpreting history from the 1950s. That's right...I said 1950s.

We're so firmly entrenched in the 1850s (and beyond) here that it's sometimes difficult to wrap your brain around the thought that history can be so recent (and worthy of museum dedication).

As entire ways of life continually evolve (and sometimes disappear), these new interpretations become all the more critical. For example, a colleague (and friend) recently brought up two examples: Band-Aids and toothpaste. Do you see Band-Aids with the little red strings for openings anymore? How about metal toothpaste tubes? That would be a "no" on both accounts. What about cassette and VHS tapes? Rapidly disappearing as well. I, myself, still vaguely remember 8-track tapes...but my son will probably only see them in museums (or Thrift Town).

I wonder what a "Village" dedicated to life in 2008 would look like? Would we see modern brick homes interspersed with 1930s Arts and Crafts cottages? Would our only sampling of life in the "early new millenium" be those homes that are left (and then donated)? Will they be representative of who we, as a people, are?

Interesting questions...

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