Sun, surf, summer: time to go to the library

There’s a whole story in itstory† And so much depends on the perspective of the narrator.

For example, what will the future think it knows about our fraught time? What will be included? What is left out? What will be the twist on events like the war in Ukraine or the 2020 presidential election?

Miriam Thaggert has thought about these things since a visit to the Newberry Library’s huge Pullman Company archives in 2014 sent her on a long detour through 19th- and early 20th-century American history. Thaggert, now a literature professor at SUNY Buffalo, had been sifting through the personnel files of the famous all-male, all-Black Pullman Company porters for a book she was planning when she came across something she hadn’t expected: a woman’s job application. .

It set her on a different track.