The Shulgin Archiving Project is a collaborative project that has been in the works for more than a decade. Erowid's involvement began with friendly needling of Sasha to allow digitization of his chemistry notebooks and files. Team Shulgin had the first of his lab books scanned in 2007. In 2008, Erowid began building an online "Shulgin Collection" and started helping with fundraising. Since Sasha's death, the project has begun transforming from its humble beginnings into something more organized and directed. There are currently over a dozen people involved in document discovery, organization, identification, and scanning. Ann wields final say on the project, along with her daughter Wendy, who leads the Shulgin's publishing imprint, Transform Press. Tania and Greg Manning act as ringleaders for the expanding team, who have collectively put in thousands of hours. We're working with Team Shulgin to make more of the Shulgin Collection available and we hope you enjoy this tiny glimpse into the archives. -- Erowid
A Dispatch from the Shulgin Farm...
by Scott Bodarky
Erowid is dedicating $8,276.59 (10% of our 2015 Reddit Charity Giveaway win) to Shulgin Collection archiving.
I first started paying regular visits to the Farm in order to play Go with Sasha. A few years ago, I began helping Team Shulgin with publishing and lending my entrepreneurial skills towards establishing the Alexander Shulgin Research Institute (ASRI). I've passed many hours at the Farm working on this Archiving Project. Each week I spend several hours sorting through materials accumulated over the last 110 years by Sasha, Ann, and their families. Sasha's only child, Ted, predeceased him by several years. So with Sasha's passing, his direct genetic line ended. All of the accumulated papers and mementos from Sasha, Ted, Sasha's parents, his ancestors, and his first wife Nina and her family are here. It appears that neither Sasha nor anyone around him ever threw anything away!
It feels odd to paw through the relics and residue of people's existence, from birth to death. The evanescence of life is apparent; decades of daily living reduce to boxes of mouldering papers and ephemera, which will give way to dust in the end. Now we're sifting for treasures hidden among mundane artifacts such as magazine expiration notices, cancelled checks, and bank statements going back to the 1930s. There is much of interest, including 16 mm films, audio cassettes, Sasha's writings, his music, his well-organized filing cabinets, his correspondence, and family photos. The collection contains meaningful finds such as diaries written by Sasha's mother during his infancy and his letter home from college, in which he proposes changing his major from pre-med to organic chemistry. There are also fun curiosities, like Sasha's ham radio handbook, his notes to solve the Rubik's Cube, his original poems beginning when he was ten years old, and the poetry magazines that published them. I'm not sure what will be of most interest to Erowid readers or the future of humanity, but we continue to dig.
- All photos and images are from the Shulgin Archive.
- v1.0 - Jul 2014 - published in Erowid Extracts.
- v1.1 - Oct 2015 - Erowid - Published on Erowid.org.
- v1.2 - Aug 2016 - Erowid - Added links section.