My name is Lorrie Smith and I began working with Digital Repository full time on July 2nd 2014. From the start, I was very intrigued by the process of ultimately saving someone’s work “forever”. Now, I figured we had already accomplished this by using paper and books, but times change and technology always seems to be a few steps ahead of us. I am a total book lover and there is something about opening a book and smelling the paper, but as I said, times are always changing and we all seem to always change with it.
The Digital Repository @ISU is a way for students and faculty to keep their published work saved forever; it also allows for everyone to have free access to their works at a touch of button (or a click of the mouse). Since I have begun this journey I have learned something new each day. For example, I never knew about a journal called Sketch. Sketch started in 1934 and featured works by student writers and artists and it still continues today. Sketch encourages all Iowa State students, regardless of year or major to submit works of artistic expression, written or visual. A couple of names you might recognize are noteworthy Iowans, Ted Kooser, former United States Poet Laureate, and Tom Harkin, United States Senator from Iowa, each had works published in Sketch during their undergraduate years.
Sketch was my first project to work on here in the DR@ISU. I learned how to split out an article in order to download it and then reload it into the Repository. I began by working on years 1938 – 1941 and I read some of the articles listed while splitting them out. Some of the short stories were about a time when my grandparents were young. Some of the poems were touching and some just made me smile. Most of these folks are no longer with us and as I read a few through the years I wondered what these folks were studying or where they ended up in life. If their little stories can make someone 70 years later tear up or giggle just from their stories, poems, song lyrics it makes me wonder what I missed out on. I wish I could have dinner with one of them for a night to hear more.
So I’d like to encourage everyone to take a moment and surf through a year in Sketch and see if you too find at least one that will make you stop and think, laugh or make you think of someone…then we are on the right track of saving their work forever.
Here is a link to Sketch if you are interested…http://sketch.eserver.org