May 2, 2013

Ithaca Project Will Compile Residents’ Journal Entries

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In an effort to archive the average day for an Ithaca resident, Ithaca residents will write short essays about their daily activities as part of the “One Day in Ithaca” project, City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick ‘09 announced at a Common Council meeting Wednesday. Residents will be asked to write about how they spent their day on May 17.

“This will be a message to future generations of Ithaca residents, testifying where we were as a community in 2013,” Myrick said.

The project marks the 25th anniversary of the “Great Ithaca Write-in” of 1988, during which over 6,000 essays were submitted by Ithaca residents and compiled into a book, according to Carol Kammen, Ithaca resident and coordinator of the project.

Kammen describes the original write-in as “the first of its kind in the nation,” but credits a Russian community for originating the idea in the 1930s.

“We hope that everyone in the city will contribute their daily reflection to the archive,” Kammen said.

Looking through some of the essays submitted by Ithaca residents in 1988, Myrick reflected upon the entry of that year’s mayor — John Gutenberger.

“Twenty-five years later, it’s clear that not too much has changed; his day started at 7 a.m., it ended at 10:30 p.m. and it was filled with conflicts between Ithaca residents and Cornell University,” Myrick said.

The goals of the project are not only historical documentation, but also to help build a sense of unity and community in Ithaca, according to Kammen.

“By looking at our commonalities, it will bring us all closer together,” Kammen said.

Original Author: Christopher Yates