Documents in the Vermont state archives seem to stretch on forever, box after box containing the minutiae of our state’s history, dating back to when Independence Day was not a time for BBQs and fireworks, but an event that most people had actually lived through. While the physical boxes remain under lock and key, the secrets they contain are stored in the brain of Gregory Sanford, who has been the official state archivist for the last 30 years and is retiring this summer.
Sanford has long been the go-to source for detailed stories about the history of Vermont. He is a living encyclopedia of Vermont – its government, its politicians, its stories and its documents. So this winter when rumor started to spread that Sanford would be retiring as state archivist, Vermont Edition wanted to grab as much time with him as possible while he was still on the job. In the thirty years that Sanford has been in charge of the archives, he’s advocated for open access to government, and modernized the system of keeping Vermont’s documents and records. In fact the Legislature decided this year that the new archives building should be named in his honor. Sanford is Jane Lindholm’s guest for this hour of Vermont Edition.