Thursday, June 20, 2013

Archival Quality

The other day I posted about our attempts to complete the PA DeMolay Archive's collection of Cordon magazines. This stirred a lot of interest, as it appears people are really clamoring for this kind of information. As I stated in some of the comments, it is our long term goal to have all of the Cordon magazines available for download from PA DeMolay in .pdf format. This project is a huge undertaking and probably will not be finalized until next year.

But, we also realized there was a smaller project we could tackle that would give us a chance to test how this kind of online archive would work. Here at the PA DeMolay office, we have a (nearly) complete set of Keystone Crusaders. The Key Cru, as we call it, was started in 1934. It took a break from 1942 to 1961, but has been published continuously since. That is nearly 70 years of newsletters! This represents a huge resource for historians and interested Brothers. Over the summer, we will be posting the Keystone Crusader archive, all 70+ years of it, as part of a bigger plan (which you'll find more about in future posts.)

In the mean time, we I'll post this here as a little treat to get you excited about what is coming down the pipe. This is the front page of the an issue of the Keystone Crusader that comes from March of 1942. (Click the image to make it bigger.)

Now, let's look at the significance of that date." December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy." Those were the words spoken by President Roosevelt upon the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Four months later, we find this issue of the Key Cru, wherein the Executive Officer for Pennsylvania and his Deputy are announcing that PA DeMolay will "postpone" the Conclave scheduled for 1942. It would be "postponed" for nearly a decade. Bro. Robert D. Griewahn would be the last State Master Councilor of PA DeMolay until the Chapters met in 1951 to elect Ernest O. Famous to that office. PA DeMolay would only exist as a support mechanism for local Chapters for that 9 year period.

Think about it? How would PA DeMolay handle a war of that magnitude now? Some people may not find history all that exciting, but when you put it into perspective and uncover stories you can relate to, it makes it much more personal. That is why we are making this effort to preserve the history of our organization electronically.

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth C. Anthony

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