Do you have a junk drawer at home, or a closet where things seem to always pile up, always getting deeper and never shrinking?
Imagine your one drawer, and compare that to the collection at Central State Hospital in Milledgeville. Entire buildings which have been sitting unused and closed up for decades, have become the 'junk drawer' of the hospital's campus.
Pictures, financial and medial records, and personal effects of residents of the hospital have been sitting in boxes, unaccounted for and forgotten about.
Cue Joshua Kitchens.
Kitchens is a certified archivist, and has begun the task of going through hundreds of boxes, organizing and studying the contents of each.
"Photographic materials, that was a whole different story because there was no order to them, and they didn't make any sense," Kitchens explains.
The plan is to one day get through everything that is being found throughout the hospital campus, and have it archived for easily accessible study in the future.
"We'll have a nice, what we call a finding aide," Kitchens says. "A tool to help people find the materials that are in the archive."
Kitchens has been working on this archiving project for more than two years now. He says one of the most interesting things he found while studying the artifacts, was that the Central State was more than just a hospital for the city.
"The records seem to show that there was a lot of community out here, a lot of events with a lot of people gathered around doing very public things. That's something that's really very surprising."
Kitchens will also render his archiving services in Milledgeville for First Friday, which is October 7th. He wants people who have artifacts in their homes to bring them to him, so he can sit down and explain things like what you have and where it might be from.
He will be at Digital Bridges to look at your items.
Might be a good way to clear out some of the junk in your closet...