Special Collections & Archives hosted our first in-person (and livestreamed) event in two years earlier this week. Mary Tribble spoke about her ancestor Sarah “Sally” Wait, in her talk From Her Hand: Sally Merriam Wait’s Mission South.

Mary recently published Pious Ambitions: Sally Merriam Wait’s Mission South, 1813-1831, based in large part on the manuscripts we hold in Special Collections. Her presentation is an important reminder of how the documentary record can connect us to the past while also informing who we are today as Wake Foresters and as Americans. It is easy to dismiss archives as simply representing something old with little relevance for today–however, the decisions by the Wait family, made nearly 200 years ago, still impact Wake Forest University every day. By collecting and preserving collections, experiences, and stories from the past through today AND by making them accessible to researchers, students, and scholars, we can better understand and make meaning of our modern world.