August 21, 2005

History For Sale

This is a rant. I don't usually go on personal rants that have little to do with my purpose for this blog (Christian theological and cultural discussion), but I have to vent.

We are selling our history. Don't believe me? Head over to eBay. Collectables. Militaria.

There is a section for people selling letters. People are selling their grandparents' wartime correspondance. 134 different auctions right now, all selling off history.

I know a lot of these are from estate auctions. I think that's what bothers me the most. These people died, and nobody wanted their letters. So they were sold at auction to someone whose sole intent was to throw them up on eBay and turn a quick profit. These things should be in archives, in museums. They should be available for historians to study. They are historic documents whose value really cannot be calculated in dollars.

But you can get a collection of medals and war correspondance from a "US Airforce hero" (actually, in WWII it would have been Army Air Corps) for a bit over $100 if you hurry. And there's a lot of VMail (Victory mail) on eBay iof you're interested.

I won't provide links. If I had the money, I'd buy the stuff and donate it to the a href="http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/">National Archives. I'm hoping that the people who are bidding on these items are going to do just that. These things don't belong in private collections. They are a part of our collective history, and they should be available to us all.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 04:26 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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