A. P. “Pat” Bolton Collection

Do you know who was the first to pave the Daytona International Speedway???

With great excitement, I am thrilled to announce that I have finished the A. P. “Pat” Bolton Collection and it is now posted on FSC’s McKay Archives website!  A. P. “Pat” Bolton is best known for being the first to pave the Daytona International Speedway but also did a great deal of work for the Navy during WWII and was an innovative force in developing new construction methods for laying asphalt.  You can view a sample of the collection at the link below.  In addition to the photographs posted in the digital collection, the collection also include soil samples from the early 1930’s, financial paper work and assorted memorabilia.

View the digital collection

Archives in practice:

While working on the collection, my director allowed me to assist in her archive class.  The most common concern the students had about archive work is that it felt like they were “hording useless material.”

I get it.  As I was wading through decades of old, sometimes smelly, financial paperwork (often out of order due to many people re-boxing the items multiple times before it came to me) I felt like it was useless too.  And to me it is useless, but that does not mean it does not hold value to someone else.

Osorio highlights the plight of the braceros in her article: Proof of a life lived.  The braceros worked in the United States on temporary visas from 1942 – 1964.  The main contingency of the program was that 10% of their wages were withheld.  The United States’ intention was that the braceros could retrieve the 10% when they returned home to Mexico (an incentive to go home).  When they got home, their money was gone.

To make a long and complicated story short: had proper records been kept, the braceros would be able to prove their claim – but such records were not kept.  Yes, decades of seemingly useless paperwork really can hold great value to some people.  The 10% that was withheld is the difference between a semi-comfortable retirement and no retirement for the braceros workers.  The braceros were poor, it wasn’t until the early 2000’s when they (or their children) started fighting for what they were owed.

 I get it.  Sometimes, archiving does seem like hording and it is very difficult to wade through decades of paperwork and it is even harder when you do not fully understand the value of the paperwork.  But somethings do hold hidden values and meanings that only time can reveal and that is why archival work is important.  On occasion, the archivist might be the only person who is able to protect your basic civil rights.

  • Osorio, J.  (2005).  Proof of a life lived: The plight of the braceros and what it says about how we treat records.  Archival Issues, 29(2), 95-103.
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