Message in a Box

 


What should we tell Colbians of the future?


That’s the question facing Professor Jenny Boylan (English) as she ponders the time capsule to be sealed Feb. 27 in conjunction with Colby’s bicentennial celebration.


Photography by Sean Alonzo Harris
 

 

Professor Jenny Boylan (English) with a time capsule container being prepared in connection with Colby’s bicentennial. The capsule is to be opened in 2113.
Professor Jenny Boylan (English) with a time capsule container being prepared in connection with Colby’s bicentennial. The capsule is to be opened in 2113.

What should we tell Colbians of the future?

That’s the question facing Professor Jenny Boylan (English) as she ponders the time capsule to be sealed Feb. 27 in conjunction with Colby’s bicentennial celebration.

The capsule, a specially constructed plastic box, will be housed in a glass case in the Chapman Room in Special Collections in Miller Library until it is opened for Colby’s tricentennial
in 2113. 

What will it contain? Boylan wants the Colby community to help decide. “I hope there would be is a conversation about who we are,” she said. “What aspect of the culture and community do we want them to
know about?”

Incoming first-year students have already written “letters to the future” that will be put in the box. But what else? Newspaper pages? A cell phone? An iPod? A student thesis? A chemistry exam? Photographs? 

Boylan compares the Colby time capsule to the one loaded onto the Voyager 2 spacecraft, launched in 1977 and now 9 billion miles from Earth. That capsule, intended for an alien audience, contains scientific facts, photos of Earth creatures, and recordings of Chuck Berry and Beethoven, among many other items. 

The Colby version?  “I’m inviting suggestions,” Boylan said. She asks anyone in the Colby community to e-mail (jfboyla@colby.edu) or send items to her at Box 5264, Mayflower Hill. 

“If there’s room for it,” Boylan said, “we’ll put it in.”

 
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