My Involvement with the Online SAS Archive Project

By Dick Dangaran

SAS Class of 1964

     When I first got involved in the SAS Archive Project to catalogue all the photographs and materials of St. Anthony’s Seminary (SAS) it started out as just another technical challenge. The task was simple, research the tasks, generate a plan based upon the research findings and then execute the plan. A pretty simple and straight forward task.

     As I scanned each of the pictures, I started to notice some of the details. I started to ask myself - who are these people - look at the clothing - I wonder what happened to them - wow, no houses or roads in the background, where was this located? I then realized how interesting and unique each picture was.

     The project then changed from a technical task to a lesson and involvement with history. I just wasn’t scanning pictures anymore to CDs, I was actually helping to save history. I was also possibly one of a handful of people to see these photographs in years. As I looked at each of the pictures I started to appreciate how difficult it was to live and build structures back in the late eighteen hundreds. It’s not like today: bring in some heavy equipment, throw up a few forms, do some finishing work and then move on to the next project.

     This was different. Just look into the faces of the people who helped with the construction of the buildings, hard faces, hard work. It was excavating the ground by hand, using picks, shovels and horse drawn buck boards. Built by friars and people who lived in the area. They just didn’t construct a building, they helped to build a home, a learning and worship center. Built not by just anybody but built by the hearts of the community of Santa Barbara. This action helped to cement the close relationship to the community for the future the community shared the pride of the buildings.

     Now the task was to figure out a way to get this history out to all of the alumni. Online, of course. That’s how the section about history was started. Put the pictures with parallel Antonian stories of the seminary on the SafeNet website and make them easily accessible to all who visit the site.