The college records are especially complicated in terms of organization, providing as they do a fascinating if uneven history of its governance, economics, student life, and academic programs, offered through an array of official documents, letters, account books, Quest articles, faculty records, and numerous other sources. My recent search for materials about Paideia provided a glimpse into the levels of organization required to turn this mass of information into useable material. A folder called "Paideia" contains faculty minutes of a debate, circa 1969, on whether to continue the unstructured independent study in its current form. Also included are budgets, academic calendars, and letters to and from student officers and faculty members. The careful assembling of this folder was designed to preserve the history of this program. Its contents may also appear elsewhere, in folders about faculty minutes, in correspondence files, in accounting ledgers. And some of the information about Paideia requires digging in old Quests or college catalogs.
With each turn of the page, with the opening of another box or folder, comes the anticipation of a treasure hunt and the temptation to veer from the assigned task and follow a new thread. This is a place for exploration, for deep browsing fueled by a purpose.
Another folder in the Whalen collection of interest, both to the literary scholar and to Reed trivia-gatherers, contains the "Proceedings of the Adelaide Crapsey-Oswald Spengler Appreciation Society, 1949," apparently a brief Reed group whose members included Snyder, Whalen, and others. Its contents are especially interesting for literary researchers, since it contains poems written during that period by its members. Are there other records of this society to be found in the Reed record, filed perhaps under "Literary Clubs?"