In a NPR Morning Edition commentary yesterday, Susan Stamberg gave "A Fond Farewell to Audiotape" in which talks about materiality of audiotape and discusses the differences between producing a news story with analog audio recordings and digital recordings.
I finished off the last of the boxes yesterday and have started in on the filing cabinets. I'm working through the publications first as they are organized chronologically, which inherently makes sense. What I'm getting at is that this first run through the files is really all about getting a sense of how Fr. Ong organized them, and organizing publications in chronological is inherently structured. For example, a 2001 letter from Ms. Joan Smith regarding the 1967 In the Human Grain goes with all other letters in the In the Human Grain section, and all of it can be found after the 1966 publications and before the 1969 publications. In contrast, when it comes to the General Files, does the medal from Fr. Ong's knighthood from the French government go under "Awards"? "Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques"? "Knighthoods"? "Medals"? Unlike with publication related material, it's not clear. (It's in a folder labeled "France" in case you're wondering). For these reasons, the publications files look less complex and, therefore, should provide an easier introduction to Fr. Ong's patterns of organization.
From a review of The Barbarian Within, And Other Fugitive Essays and Studies, published in The Cambridge Review, Dec. 1, 1962 (written by Robert R. Bolger):
"Communication's law lay hid in night
God said, "Let Ong succeed! and all was light."