Having just visited all the participating blogs in this week's Sepia Saturday, I am delighted by both the wonderful pictures and fascinating stories that the meme has given rise to. I am also gladdened to note how well received the idea has been and how the number of participants is growing each week. When Kat and I came up with the idea we avoided both rules and organisational structures in the firm belief that the former was unnecessary and the latter would emerge as a matter of course. I remain convinced that restrictive rules should be avoided, but I am aware that, as the number of participants increases, we may need to introduce a better organisational structure for the weekly links. As people know, I will be away for the next three Sepia Saturdays (Kat has kindly agreed to host the link lists), but if anyone has any suggestions as to the kind of organisational structure they would prefer (a separate Blog with a MrLinky a la Theme Thursday or whatever) I would be most grateful if they could post them in. I would like to finish with my own thoughts on what, to me, Sepia Saturday is all about. It is my own Manifesto For Sepia Saturday which anyone should feel free to add to or amend.
A MANIFESTO FOR SEPIA SATURDAY.
1. We belong to a favoured generation: the first generation of the digital age. Whilst our ancestors have valiantly attempted to preserve their own unique history in scraps of written narrative and faded and creased photographs, we have the unique ability to fix these memories for ever as our legacy to future generations.
2. Scanning, blogging and digital storage provide us with the means of preserving the past, but we also have a duty to preserve the stories and images of those that contributed to our society as we know it. Whilst we can leave to academic historians the task of documenting the lives of the rich and famous, we believe that the most remote second-cousin and the most distant of maiden aunts has made a unique contribution to the lives that we lead. Each one of us has a duty to help preserve the stories of these builders of the modern world.
3. Whilst images alone are fascinating documents, images with words - be they simple half-remembered names and dates or gripping narrative histories - are even better. The synthesis of image and words provides the most effective insight into the past.
4. "Sepia" is an alliterative convenience rather than a descriptive criterion. Let our images be in sepia, in black and white or in full colour : what matters is the message and not the medium.
5. We recognise that we have not only a duty to share our past but also to ensure that it is effectively preserved. Whilst images printed on photographic paper and words written in old notebooks fade with time, they have proved, in most cases, remarkably resilient over time. Perhaps one of the greatest dangers facing the millions of digital images and the endless pages of computerised words we produce today is that they can so easily be lost by the pressing of a wrong button or by the hacking of a troubled soul. We recognise and we accept our responsibility to back-up and securely save.