When did your Morris team form? Do you have stories about the olden and golden days of your team?
As the legacy of Morris dancing in North America has grown to multiple decades, there is a growing interest in documenting our own team histories: how teams were formed, what traditions we dance, and the memories and photos of our communities. Several individual dancers have compiled extensive histories of the Morris dancing tradition in their parts of the Midwest, and are continuing to expand and document their local dance traditions and teams. Here we are seeking to bring together folks who are interested in documenting their own team histories.
Have you been working on your team’s history and archives? Looking to get going and not sure where to begin? We’d love to hear from you!
The Team Histories working group is interested in discussing questions like:
- Do you have a central collection point for team photos, documents, clippings, material effects, and other memorabilia? Or is it scattered across individuals’ personal collections?
- How do you go about tracking down stuff from former members who have moved on?
- How do you manage the divide between the pre-digital and digital ages? At a certain point, things stopped being on paper and are now scattered all over Facebook and other sites and people’s phones. How do we track these materials?
- With the goal of creating an archive for “posterity,” what should you decide to keep, assuming that “keeping everything” would be too overwhelming?
- When we do create team archives, what form should they take? How best to catalog what’s in it? How best to present it so that it’s somewhat accessible to:
- someone who wants to write an article
- someone who wants to do a doctoral thesis
- a new team member who would like to know more about team history
The Midwest Morris Ale is working to provide support for issues such as:
- What options are there for where the archive could reside in a permanent format?
- What infrastructure/awareness/practices can we put in place so as to make it convenient for people to contribute to the archive going forward, i.e. to record history as it’s being made?
The Team Histories working group held a Community Conversation during the 2021 Ale. Here are the notes from that session.
Here are some Team History and Archiving Resources