Archiving notes

When Peter Robertson passed, on April 16, 1997, he left behind a large collection writings, speeches, doodles, and photos (and clippings, magazines, random documents, and ancient kitchen gadgets as well as a trove of white shirts, black socks, toiletries, and office supplies that apparently anticipated that lawyers would be needed after the zombie apocalypse).  Many of his writings were in his highly abbreviated scrawl, and were stored in a series of filing cabinets that appeared to start a new alphabet every decade or so, in folders with helpful labels like “Robertson” or “Robertson speech” or “Speech (Robertson).”

I am proceeding using these conventions and notes:

  • Where a date is indicated in the blog, I explain whether this was on the document, deducible from the document, or my wild-ass guess.  Many were simply unknowable.
  • PCR’s unscientific filing system, followed by the need to pack it all up after his untimely death, followed by 20 years of moving the boxes from Arlington to Denver and then from one room to another in Denver has left the organization, well, random would be high praise.  At this point, I’m going through the documents as I find them and scanning the interesting stuff.
  • Words in [square brackets] were alterations in the original that I made, generally to correct spelling or expand abbreviations that made sense to me but might not to others.  I have left some of his idiosyncratic spelling where I found them to add to the PCRness.  For example in this speech fragment, he is trying to use the phrase “primordial ooze.”  The latter word comes out variously “oooz” and “ooz” both of which I left.
  • PCR’s handwriting was a strange combination of cursive, print, and ALL CAPS.  I have kept the ALL CAPS where I thought he was using it for emphasis and converted to ordinary text where I thought it was a random variation in his handwriting.
  • Sometimes I simply could not decipher his handwriting; those words/phrases are indicated as “[illeg].”
  • Material I have redacted is indicated in {brackets}.  For example, I have deleted his address and phone number where they appear.