Transmissions from The Timothy Leary Papers: The Self-Annotated Papers
Annotations throw a wrench in dating materials, and Timothy Leary liked to annotate... everything. Aware of his demise after being diagnosed with cancer in 1995, he wrote notes and signed printed matter, clippings and correspondence from his personal files. Although he authored the autobiographies High Priest and Flashbacks, it will be his annotations that provide the more immediate, intimate “flashback.”
For example, Leary was suspended from the University of Alabama in 1942 (he was reinstated October 1944), prompting him to enroll in the short-lived Specialized Army Training Program offered at Ohio State University. He enlisted in the Army on 16 May 1942 at the University of Alabama and began active duty 4 January 1943. His enlisted records show that he held inactive service from 16 May 1942 to 3 January 1943, before receiving this train voucher from Fort Eustin, Virginia for travel to Washington DC:
Forensic Files--More Dates!
The archivist searches through recorded media, traditionally paper-based, for official and legitimate historical evidence. This is the essential definition of “archives,” records with evidential value. The Leary papers have many opportunities for fact-checking.
This puts Leary in Acapulco, Mexico, receiving a phone call from Cuernavaca, Mexico on 3 Aug 1960, days before his first ingestion of the psychotropic fungi, psilocybin mushrooms. Yes, this is not a big revelation, but it’s good to see documentation for his life-changing trip.