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[p. 132] inspiration; for it is characteristic of the new spirit in history that it looks forward as well as backward, and regards the past in its vital relation to the present. The mistake is often made of regarding that which is farthest distant in point of time as of most interest and value. This again is the view of the antiquarian and not of the real historian, who knows no such distinction. The earliest period in the colonial history of America has been much more thoroughly exploited than that equally important half century of development that preceded the Revolution. We do not do justice to our mission if we forget that we are making history now, and that while the first business of the Medford Historical Society is to rescue past records before they are entirely lost, it is also and equally its business to see that ample material is properly preserved for later historians to study without obscurity all the phases of its history now enacting. It seldom does harm for the institution, like the individual, to magnify its office, and the mission of the local historical society will broaden and deepen the longer it is studied in the true spirit of history.

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Edwin A. Start (1)
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