By Jacob D, President, Urantia Book Historical Society, Stockholm, Sweden
Editors Note: Many Urantia Book readers have donated their time and talents to a project that they strongly believe in. One such group of readers formed the Urantia Book Historical Society. This article highlights the importance of preserving historical records.
The mission of the Urantia Book Historical Society (UBHS) is to collect, document, and preserve the legacy of The Urantia Book and its history.
In July 2006, 51 years after the publication of The Urantia Book, UBHS was officially established. Over the years the number of records in possession of readers had grown to such a size that UBHS turned to the University of California at Santa Barbara for help. They agreed to house all that the Society had collected as part of their "American Religions Collection." That same year, www.ubhistory.org was launched and made available to the public.
UBHS, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, currently has twelve members serving on its Board of Directors, all of whom in some way are educated and experienced in history or archiving. UBHS is an independent organization and is dedicated to preserving, recording, documenting and cataloging, collecting, and storing, both digitally and physically, the history of The Urantia Book and the Urantia movement.
Many of the physical records in the online archive are the possessions of individuals who have temporarily donated their historical materials for digitization. The physical repository of documents is housed at the University of California at Santa Barbara, while the digital library of records is online at www.ubhistory.org. The UBHS website contains over 5000 records and is constantly growing.
This summer UBHS will be launching a new software program that has state of the art internet services giving groups from around the world the opportunity to record their history. Each group that decides to participate will be granted access to its own document or collection room in the online library. A volunteer archivist from that group will be able to save the group's records directly from the internet and choose which records the group makes available to UBHS archivists for incorporation in the public archive.
UBHS invites and urges local groups and readers of The Urantia Book to participate in this important endeavor. This can be accomplished in several ways:
1. Start talking about history and begin recording your personal history. Invite your study group to jot down its history. Record video interviews of your group members and preserve them for posterity.
2. Search your files for documents, meeting minutes, pamphlets, records, films, recordings, videos, and correspondence that you want to be safeguarded.
3. Donate your historical collection to UBHS. For information on how, visit http://www.ubhistory.org/UBHS/Support.html.