After collecting all the physical copies of Icarus and collecting inventory, we were able to distinguish the years that were unaccounted for:
1968, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015.
Gone. Lost. Non-existent.
Well, for right now. We hope to find a couple more editions lying around in the abyss of the internet. Or in the dark corner of our library.
The years in which Icarus were not published makes for a powerful statement. The reasons, or excuses, are endless; was there a hick-up in publishing that relayed the works into the following year? Did no one care about the journal? Was the journal forgotten entirely?
Prof Newmiller was able to recover the PDF files from 2012 and 2013. (Which can be viewed here.) There was a single computer that had all those files on them. Luckily Prof Newmiller is an IT Guru and was able to get into the laptop before it was wiped clean for another teacher to use! Some years the individual literature pieces were all separate. Jacqueline was able to put all the writings for that year onto one, cohesive document.
Some initial thoughts: It’s a shame that there weren’t any Icarus journals produced during the early 2000s. My own prediction is that people were more focused on the effects of September 11th and the War in Iraq. A school’s literary journal stands with no value against such a tragic and critical time for Americans. Especially, those training to become the leaders in a wartime. Cadets could have been using writing or drawing to cope with the events unfolding in our nation and we have no access to them at all. 9/11 was a tragic event for our nation. Each person has a different perspective based off of where they were, if they knew anybody in the building, if they had family in New York City, or even just watched the news live as the terror unfolded.
Not only do we lose access to the literature for the sake of talented cadet writing, but we have missed out on a unique insight to the minds of those affected so closely by a historical event. This is one major concern of a digital world.
Let’s back up a couple steps.
Think of how many websites have been lost in the short life of the internet due to software expiring. Think about how many updates Internet Explorer or Google Chrome undergo in a single year. Nevertheless in the lifetime of the digital world. If we as humans are not taking the time to preserve works of literature that are born straight onto the internet or a digital surface, we will lose that content with the next couple updates of that respective program.
It’s just a matter of time that the fast-pace, progressive nature of technology will reap the same results as the fires in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.