We all know libraries are great resources for writing. What isn’t always considered, however, is the intense power of archives for creative writers. What separates archives from the rest of the materials kept in libraries is that the vast majority of archival materials are unpublished. We can only truly know them, the stories they contain, the bits of brilliant light, by spending some time with them. Though we know archives as essential to the fact-finding part of research, not everyone sees them as essential to the creative part. But there are stories in archives, stories waiting to be told, and wading through the records for these gems is the tragically beautiful part of archival research.
“Music definitely informs my writing process. I played the piano throughout my youth and still do. I also played the French horn throughout high school and college, and I thought that was going to be my life—I thought I’d become a band director. That could’ve been a great life, but then in college, English got me, so I started down this road, and ended up double-majoring in English and history. But still, I love music. It’s probably one of the art forms we’re most comfortable with; it just informs so much of our lives. We sing along to the radio without thinking about it. But if we investigate those songs that matter to us? That can be a rich vein of material.”