June 9, 2023
For people who have devoted their lives to organizing, Paula and Frank Panzarella have finally been able to confess: They are quite disorganized –what with a house full of flyers, posters, political buttons, a battalion’s worth of t‑shirts, white papers, position papers, an original of the Port Huron Statement, a mantle of other manifestos, diaries, and correspondence from decades of a meaningful life of political and social activism and organizing dating back to the 1960s.
So now the question arises: What in the world to do with all of it?
That sometimes overwhelming dilemma – and opportunity – is what brought them and two dozen other packrats and stewards of family photos and memorabilia to the community room of the Main Ives Branch of the New Haven Public Library at 133 Elm St. on smoky Wednesday night.
There Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library archivist Jennifer Coggins was on hand to offer some hope, relief, and practical suggestions for how to keep documents safe, with an hour’s introductory lecture on preserving materials in different formats for future generations.