Thursday, August 19, 2004

I read Ong's narrative of his four day trip to the U.S.S.R in July-Aug. 1968, which he took through a Finnish tour company. It's just over 40 double-spaced typed pages with a few corrections. It's not polished, but is rather a narrated account dictated to a fellow Jesuit about a month and a half after the trip. As such, it jumps around a lot.

I also looked at the slides and there aren't as many as I'd hoped. As he says in the narrative, they were only supposed to take photos when the Soviet Intourist representative told them to, but they also had much unsupervised free time so he tried to take some pictures of everyday life. Apparently, he often asked if he was taking pictures of people, and more often than not, he was told no.

Still, I think the whole thing would make an interesting piece and I'm thinking of doing it up as a Web site. The Jesuits have given the archives control of copyright (while retaining the right to money earned from the material), so there's real interest here in making some of the material digital. I'm waiting to see if anything else related to the trip comes with the rest of the collection, such as letters, a journal, or even an audio recording of the narrative (I don't know if they recorded the account or if Fr. Ong just dictated while the other Jesuit transcribed). Once I know what materials I have to work with, I'll start thinking of what digital format might be best.

As you can deduce from the above, we are not moving the material over today. Nor have we yet heard if we will be able to get the material tomorrow.


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