USA Today recently announced that the Broadway show Hamilton, winner of eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, is also being recognized by the National Archives Foundation. Lead actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Tommy Kail, and biographer Ron Chernow will receive the Records of Achievement award. In the words of Foundation Chair A’Lelia Bundles, “. . . they have turned the early American history of our textbooks into an exciting culture phenomenon. Their daring storytelling ignites our interest in the people who shaped our nation and makes us want to know more about the origins of the complex political debates that continue today.”1
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is responsible for the records of our nation. Other archives maintain records for individuals, families and institutions and can be a source, not only of information, but also of inspiration. The staff of Poor Yorick recently visited the Haas Library Archives at Western Connecticut State University. Archivist Brian Stevens explained that every archive has a particular mission and talked to us about the collections he maintains, all of which relate to local history.
Engraved on the base of a statue in the National Archives Building is a quote from Shakespeare’s The Tempest: “What is past is prologue.”2 This is a tenet of Poor Yorick, and archives are the focus of our summer blog series, which will be published over the course of the next two months. In the meantime, take a look at Moira Gentry’s video to become acquainted with Brian Stevens and catch a glimpse of what the Haas Library Archives and Special Collections has to offer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6wpahjS0XA
Read more in Irene Sherlock’s profile of Brian Stevens at https://www.wcsu.edu/ia/cupola/profiles/profile-stevens.asp
1. Deerwester, Jayme. “National Archives Foundation to honor ‘Hamilton’ team.” USA Today, June 15, 2016. Accessed June 22, 2016. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/theater/2016/06/15/national-archives-tp-honor-hamilton-team/85922370/
2. National Archives. “About the National Archives of the United States.” National Archives General Information Leaflet Number 1. Accessed June 22, 2016. http://www.archives.gov/publications/general-info-leaflets/1-about-archives.html