Institute for Applied Sustainability
IAS Fellowship Highlight: Building a Sustainable Legacy with the Creation of the SOU Sustainability Archive
By Kira Welch, Institute for Applied Sustainability
Institute fellows Jessica Piekielek and Christopher Lucas have initiated an ambitious project to establish a Sustainability Archive at Southern Oregon University (SOU). This project aims to curate a diverse collection of print materials, oral histories, and rich media, providing a comprehensive insight into SOU’s commitment to sustainability.
The project’s genesis lies in the collaboration between Piekielek and Lucas, who have already commenced the development of the Sustainability Archive at the Hannon Library. Their efforts extend to incorporating print materials sourced from a repository of previously unsorted items at the SOU Sustainability Office. Beyond physical documents, the duo is set to capture a tapestry of stories through audio and video recorded oral histories, which was scheduled to begin in summer of 2023.
To ensure the success of this multifaceted initiative, Piekielek and Lucas have undergone external training sessions focused on collecting oral histories. Furthermore, they’ve engaged in a collaborative meeting with Hannon Library staff in hopes of establishing a streamlined process for submission, description, cataloging, and preservation of both rich media and print materials—spanning physical and digital formats. This invaluable firsthand accounts initiative promises to enrich the Sustainability Archive, adding depth and personal narratives to the wealth of material already gathered.
The Sustainability Archive project is not just about assembling artifacts; it’s a testament to the community’s commitment to preserving and celebrating SOU’s dedication to sustainability. By creating a dedicated space within the Hannon Library, Piekielek and Lucas hope to inspire future generations with a tangible and digital legacy that reflects the university’s journey toward environmental stewardship.
The Sustainability Archive promises to be a living testament to SOU’s dedication to environmental consciousness, fostering a sense of connection, inspiration, and responsibility for generations to come.