Every box of records that arrives at the Library of Virginia is full of possibilities. We never know what we are going to find in the most seemingly mundane records series. I was reminded of this recently when I discovered a mini time capsule in a box of records from the Kaine administration (2006-2010).
I was processing a box of Secretary of the Commonwealth Kate Hanley’s (2006-2010)correspondence when I found a bundle of papers with the following note:
”Please Read! We decided to fill the empty space in this box with some time capsule items from here in the SOC. Enjoy!Governor Kaine’s SOC 2006-2009
The “time capsule” contains:
- A Virginia is for Lovers bumper sticker
- A paper plate
- The wrapper from a Dr. Pepper bottle
- Coupons for Papa John’s Pizza
- The Wall Street Deli takeout menu
- Museum Movement Techniques by Shelley Kruger Weisberg
- Road map of Virginia
- Chicken Box menu
- Bojangle’s menu
What can we learn about the staff of the Secretary of the Commonwealth from this anthropological find? Food, especially chicken and pizza, was very important them. And, judging by a photocopy of this image, they had a sense of humor.
As to the meaning of the Museum Movement Techniques book, I’ve got nothing.
This time capsule also spotlights the human interactions at the heart of the archival process.
Records don’t magically appear at the Library at the end of a gubernatorial administration. During those four years, the Library partners with the Office of the Governor to ensure that the official state records that document the activities of a governor’s administration are preserved and transferred to the Library.
-Roger Christman, Senior State Records Archivist