Essentially, we become our own documentarians and archivists in order to impose meaning on daily life, to show that we are honoring moments with the seriousness we are told they are supposed to possess, and to preserve that honor for posterity. We once did this in the semi-private realm of our families and social circles. Now we do so on a larger scale.

Culture Desk: Instagram’s Instant Nostalgia : The New Yorker. I finally figured out what this excerpt reminds me of: silva rerum. (via markrichardson)

Silva rerum – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Silva Rerum (diary) of Krassowscy family from Ziemia Drohicka in Podlasie, Poland.

In historical Poland [silva rerum] was written by members of the Polish nobility as a diary or memoir for the entire family, recording family traditions, among other matters; they were not intended for a wider audience of printing (although there were a few exceptions); some were also lent to friends of the family, who were allowed to add their comments to them. It was added to by many generations, and contained various information: diary-type entires on current events, memoirs, letters, political speeches, copies of legal documents, gossips, jokes and anecdotes, financial documents, economic information (price of grain, etc.), philosophical musings, poems, genealogical trees, advice (agricultural, medical, moral) for the descendants and others – the wealth of information in silva is staggering, they contain anything that their authors wished to record for future generations).

This blew my mind a little bit. A private book for multiple generations! Fascinating.