Library Collections–Right and (alt-Right)

“Those who cannnot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

In the same way that Columbine had become a shorthand for mass school related slayings, Charlottesville has become a shorthand for white supremacy clashes.  “We don’t want another Charlottesville” has become a catchphrase from the local governments when the various white supremacists announce a meeting in their town.

The University of Virginia Special Collections has been collecting stories, ephemera (including left over tiki torches  from the torchlit parade on the UVA Grounds that took place on the evening of Friday, August 11), protest posters, pictures, videos, etc since that weekend in August.  In an effort to capture both sides of the protest and the events, they seek examples from anyone willing to share them.  It will be added to their Unite the Right Rally Archive.


This Saturday, the UVA librarians will have a collection point downtown at the Central Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.  They are seeking stories on “Why did you go?”  Why did you stay away?”.   “It’s really important that we share and preserve the perspectives of everyone that was there that day. We want to know did you go downtown? We want to know did you stay home? Why did you do that? What we’re really trying to do is preserve the stories from the community,” said UVA Library Director Of Preservation Services Kara McClurken.”


I’m not sure if this is a coincidence, but it is also the same weekend as the Virginia Film Festival so there should be more people than normal downtown.


2 thoughts on “Library Collections–Right and (alt-Right)”

  1. It’s interesting – I often wonder what we choose to collect these days and what people in the future will make of it or find mysterious in the way we do with ancient things – it’s great that we now have the foresight to collect the stories of the people who were there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is hard to imagine how people of the future will view what we did now and why. I do applaud that they are trying to capture views from all sides by the people who were affected. By the standards of this small city, this has been a very big deal. Charlottesville is so much more than one inflamatory weekend. I am sorry that for the indefinite future that will be how this place is defined. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Pat


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