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The Eastern Echo Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

A retro library card drawer at the EMU Archives

EMU Archives puts on first Memory Swap event on June 5

The Memory Swap event seeks to help collect and preserve the history of the community.

The Eastern Michigan University Aerie, the EMU Archives oral history recording booth will be gathering and preserving oral histories on Sunday, June 5 at the Riverside Arts Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as part of the EMU Archives first Memory Swap event. 

Memory Swap is an event that helps document and preserve the community's history. Members of the community will have the opportunity to visit the EMU Aerie to use its recording booth and portable digital scanning station.

EMU Archives purchased the mobile unit with the help of EMU Emerita Irene Allen, to fill in the gaps of missing history over the decades. The EMU Aerie is a new tactic from the Historic Preservation graduate program, with efforts to attend community and campus events and collect oral histories from residents, alumni, faculty, and staff. 

“EMU does not exist in a bubble, and the preservation of community history is nearly as vital to the institution as EMU's collective memory preservation,” Matt Jones, EMU lecturer and oral historian, said in a statement. 

The Memory Swap event will focus on the passage of the Ypsilanti non-discrimination ordinace in 1998. Those who helped pass the ordinance are wanted to come to the event to help the EMU Archives wrap up their project on the ordinance, "Out Of the Margins: Voices From 1279,” according to the report. 

Those who attend the event will be directed to scan their photographs and documents, before exploring the mobile unit, where they will have the chance to talk about why those items are important to them and the history of the community. These interviews and scans will be used in many different online exhibits and stored within the EMU Archives. Memory Swaps are free of charge to all who participate. 

“Our goal is to augment the oral history collection with their documents and photographs and make everything accessible online via the archives website,” Jones said. 

For more information about EMU Aerie, visit the website.