A much-deserved “thanks,” and a reluctant “farewell”

If only the Young Ladies of the Wesleyan Female Institute were here to sing their "Parting Song" for Dale. But alas, all we can offer is a blog post. Image from the cover of sheet music in the collection of the Library of Virginia, call number M1621 .H42 1868.

Archivists and others in history-related careers aren’t always known for being overly interested in embracing emerging technologies.  A good many of us regard social media only as a fun diversion in our personal lives, with no obvious application to our professional goals. With that narrow mindset, we might as well cede the point to the chorus of naysayers proclaiming that the internet will eventually make libraries and archives irrelevant.

And yet somehow, Dale Dulaney, one of those “I refuse to ever join Facebook” guys, knew that social media could be the perfect tool to ignite an interest in and respect for archives and the work of archivists.  He knew that the Library of Virginia (like so many other cultural institutions) had to make its relevance obvious in a time when crippling funding cuts are always a possibility.  He knew that archives are often misunderstood or completely overlooked by the public at large.  He also knew that the LVA’s archives housed all kinds of unique research treasures, records ranging from poignant to hilarious, to just plain useful.  And he knew that we had at our fingertips a fast and low-cost way to show an often oblivious world that archives and archivists – what we have and what we do – matter.

I’ll spare you the details of the exhaustive work Dale invested to get this blog off the ground, and to keep it running.  But I can guarantee you that if you have derived any enjoyment from the blog, it more or less directly traces back to Dale’s tireless efforts and enthusiasm.  We’re selfishly sorry to see him take a new job in Roanoke, but are excited for him and his family as they make this transition.  Roger Christman and I, Dale’s co-editors, are also happy to welcome his successor at Out of the Box, Bari Helms.  The three of us will try not to mess this thing up too spectacularly, Dale!  We’re so grateful for the excellent work you’ve done here and we truly wish you all the best.

-Jessica Tyree, Senior Accessioning Archivist

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2 Comments

  1. Sarah L said:
    25 August 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Good luck to you Dale! Once I found this blog I couldn’t help but check every day to see if you had updated. Your highlights of the collection made me aware of the amazing holdings at the Library of Virginia – enough so that when it came time to vote for VAM’s endagered artifacts- I voted for the Library of Virginia! Best of luck to you and I’ll be looking forward to the posts of your successor.

  2. Beth D'Angelo said:
    26 August 2011 at 11:27 am

    Have so enjoyed the blog and will miss seeing your passion for the Library of Virginia in your writings, Dale. Your blog sparked a interest in me for the history that is hidden to most of the public. You have left a real legacy to the library and the public who follows.

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