I don’t collect many souvenirs. Sometimes I buy postcards when I visit places… and then I tape those into my journals. But in a very real sense a lot of what I write in my journals is meant to be a souvenir. Either way, the physical or the notational souvenir, is meant to trigger some memory.

Even institutions built for the express purpose of information preservation have succumbed to the ravages of time, natural disaster or human conquest. The famous library of Alexandria, one of the most important repositories of knowledge in the ancient world, eventually faded into obscurity. Built in the fourth century B.C., the library flourished for some six centuries, an unparalleled center of intellectual pursuit. Alexandria’s archive was said to contain half a million papyrus scrolls — the largest collection of manuscripts in the ancient world — including works by Plato, Aristotle, Homer and Herodotus. By the fifth century A.D., however, the majority of its collections had been stolen or destroyed, and the library fell into disrepair.

~ Adrienne Bernhard from,


Always I’m thinking: Do I really want to add this thing to my pile? There’s a timeframe of only a few decades where any thing, or notation, has the chance to jog my memory. Sometimes I think of taking a photo… and then I think, why? Why this image right here? Maybe it would be better (I continue thinking) to just relax and enjoy the moment. Even the Library at Alexandria’s enormous collection was surely only a minuscule fraction of what humanity had created to that point. Why take a photo? Why make a notation? Why build a web site? :)