My Time Capsule(s)--Part 1

In a blog post titled, "The Genealogist's Time Capsule Challenge," Bill West challenged bloggers to describe what they would put in their personal time capsules.  The post is on West's 'West in New England Blog and the link is:

In responding to Bill's challenge, I have to answer two questions posited on his blog; the queries are listed below.

1 Make a list of what you would put in a time capsule and why you'd choose
each item.

2. What would you use for the time capsule? Where would you have it kept?

In Part 1 of my response, I will begin to answer question #2 because I think it is vital to decide what type of capsule I will use before I determine what I will put in this vessel.  I will finish this discussion in Part 2 and answer the Bill's 1st question in Part 3.  True to my blog's mission statement, I will compose each Part of this narrative on its publication day (in as ad hoc a manner as possible).  That way, readers will get a chance to think this one through with me; they can also point out areas in my thesis that need improvement.

Anyway, before I decide what type of capsule(s) I will use, I need to pin down what I hope to accomplish via this endeavor.  I want my time capsule to achieve several goals.  First and foremost, I would like for someone to retrieve my capsule at the appropriate time and disseminate the "findings" to a larger community.  I have heard of numerous situations in which a group buries a capsule and the community forgets about it.  Years later, someone accidentally finds it as they are digging a foundation, tearing down an old building, etc.  I do not want my capsule to become lost in the mists of time.  I will therefore need to take steps to ensure that someone finds this capsule (or capsules) and disseminates the "findings" to a large number of people--in the likely event that I am not around to retrieve the items/data in 100 years (I say likely because one never is improbable but certainly not impossible that biomedical advances will allow me to hang in there for another 100 years).  I think it might be best for me to create a trust fund whose sole goal is to ensure that someone digs up (literally or figuratively) my capsule in 2112.

Since this is my personal time capsule, I want to ensure that any item I place in it captures something about me.  Perhaps the entries might bespeak to my personality, a period in my life, my cultural tendencies, etc.  Regardless, everything in my time box(es) should be autobiographical to some extent.  I am after all trying to pass on a piece of "me."  I also want my time capsule to convey to a future generation something about the society that I lived in when I "buried" the vessel (and perhaps in previous periods of my life up to 2012).  My items should provide information about the political, economic, and cultural aspects of my immediate community as well as the meta-society, as it existed in 2012.

In a nutshell, I want to convey something about myself via my time capsule while also teaching a future generation about life in 2012 (and perhaps in the other periods I have lived through).  I feel that in order to achieve this result, the items in my capsule(s) should connect with people both emotionally and intellectually.  As an example, a person who pulls one of my toys out of the capsule might feel they are able to connect with my story both intellectually (via understanding what toys I played with as a child) and emotionally (by putting themselves in my shoes and trying to reenact what life was like for me when I was a child).  I feel I also need to choose items that will transmit my story as I see it.  In other words, if I want to convey a specific thought, belief, etc., I have to find a way to ensure that my entries do just that.  That is extremely difficult considering how much things change over time.  Finally, I want something in the capsule (or connected with the capsule) to have an air of mystery about it to force people to do some research to figure out what I'm talking about (that will help further my capsule's pedagogical aims).

So in conclusion, I want to ensure that someone opens my time capsule(s) at the appropriate time (100 years hence) and to disseminate the items (along with an essay or other piece of commentary on the find) to a wider audience.  I would like for my time box(es) to serve as both a vessel for preserving some bit of myself as well as a pedagogical tool.  In order to achieve this goal, my items will need to mystify while at the same time conveying a clear message to people living in 2112. 

I have my work cut out for me.  To be continued....


  1. I think you'll find some great things to put in there. Think of something is forever evolving. Like, phones are constantly changing but a basketball will always be a basketball.

  2. Hello! Excuse me.I have no any idea now.This is for the first time for me.(You know that I do not know the English very well)

  3. Thanks Jax...I will keep that in mind :-)

    Amin, I fully worries. :-)

  4. Yes, that is quite a challenge - good luck!

  5. I have a time capsule! I'm supposed to open it when I'm 25.

    I made it when I was 8, and the only item I remember putting it was silly putty. XD

  6. I'm sure it is a lot of cool stuff. The silly putty might be a bit hard though. :-)