In studying Davis history, I have sometimes puzzled over what the detailed stories of various organizations actually were, including those of even the best known and longest existing entities, such as the Community Church, the Masons and the Davis Enterprise, as well as shorter-lived but key institutions such as the Buena Vista Hotel, the original Varsity Theater, the Davis Joint Grammar School, and Harby’s Meat Market--among a great many others.
There is, of course, at least some information available on these and other organizations. For a few, there are even fairly detailed accounts. But, overall, the record is sparse. The consequence is that our picture of ordinary Davis life fifty, a hundred, or more years ago is fuzzy and faded.
The simple fact is that no one kept detailed records on organizations, or, if they did, those materials have long since been thrown away for want of storage space or for other reasons.
But, in recent years, all that has begun to change. We are living at the start of a new era of compact and detailed organizational record keeping. We see this in two forms.