While many identify social media as a rapidly evolving technology of the future, it can also be a useful tool to link to the past. Throwback Thursday, a growing social media trend, is one of a series of weekly post themes that encourages users to find an old photograph and tag it with the hashtag "#tbt" (short for Throwback Thursday) on social media outlets like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. In this popular trend, Middlesex Alumni Office faculty member Alex Hanken and History Teacher Robert Munro saw an opportunity to link the School's daily social media activity to Middlesex's rich historical resources.
Middlesex's archives are filled with photographs, historical documents, and artifacts, as well as editions of school yearbooks and newspapers dating back decades. The project of organizing and utilizing the material in the archives is ongoing, and with the help of Senior leaders called Alumni Ambassadors, Mr. Munro seeks to make the information stored in the archives more accessible to students and alumni.
The Throwback Thursday posts are an excellent starting point. The inaugural post featured a photograph of a man standing alone on a dock in the middle of Bateman's Pond in 1885. A man named J.A. Wood signed the back of the photograph, and inscribed on the front a famous line from Samuel Woodworth's poem "The Old Oaken Bucket." "How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood," Wood wrote. "When fond recollection presents them to view," continues the poem. 128 years later, Bateman's Pond remains dear to thousands of Middlesex students and alumni, and it is our hope that our online community may reconnect with their love of Middlesex and its sustaining traditions through a weekly photo from the past.