by Diane Newman, Evans Library Archives Manager
The General John Bruce Medaris Collection is a hidden treasure housed at the Evans Library. This Special Collection tells the story of the general who led the first American team into the race for space. Medaris oversaw the successful launch of Explorer 1, a mere 90 days after the Soviet Union surprised the world by launching Sputnik.
General Medaris donated his military papers, speeches, and memorabilia collected from around the world. Students working to digitize the collection are fascinated by its scope. As part of this project, they are digitizing reel-to-reel audio tapes dating back to the 1950’s. Since tapes like these eventually disintegrate, the goal is to save their valuable content and make them accessible for future generations to enjoy.
Visitors to the online archives will soon be able to hear and read the general’s speeches, press conferences, and interviews.