Year in review: 2020
Despite the difficulties that 2020 brought us all, IDEA stayed productive, adding 83 new subjects. That’s 14 more than we published in 2019, and it brings the website’s total to more than 1,600.
The year’s new submissions included four from previously unrepresented nations: Belize, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten in the Caribbean, and Eswatini in Africa. A big thanks to all our editors (and contributors and self-submitters) who donated voices to the archive this year!
Congratulations to new associate editors Adam Lane Bergquist, Ivan Masterov, and Amin Rahman, who have vastly expanded IDEA’s collections of subjects from Alberta (Canada), Russia, and Bangladesh, respectively. Hearty congrats are also due to Sarah Nichols and Ben Corbett, who were promoted to senior editors in 2020. (Corbett’s colorful collection of Arkansans described everything from lightning strikes to grisly hunting trips to aliens.)
We made some important improvements to IDEA in 2020, including simplifying the submission process. Instead of multiple submission forms, there is now just one for everyone. And we look forward to more improvements in 2021, such as making the mobile menu more user-friendly and improving the Global Map. As always, thanks to Senior Editor and Special Consultant Dylan Paul for his web-design expertise.
In a year dominated by discussions of racial equality, IDEA is proud to have expanded our collection of African Americans’ voices. We’ve still got a way to go, but Arkansas 36, 37, and 38; California 13; and District of Columbia 3 are important additions. (Syria 4 is also an important contribution, as it’s our first Syrian Kurdish subject.)
Our Special Collection Play Names and Terms also expanded in 2020 to include a reading of names and terms from The Syringa Tree by Pamela Gien, as read by Judylee Vivier. And thanks to Associate Editor Tshari King (who was one of our most prolific contributors in 2020), we have Anguilla History 1 and a full transcription of Saint Kitts History 1.
IDEA continued to feature prominently in IDEA Founder and Director Paul Meier’s podcast, In a Manner of Speaking. Each monthly episode featured a quiz, “Guess that Accent,” using clips from the archive.
IDEA is a free, self-financed, research website. If you have enjoyed using it in 2020, we kindly invite you to consider supporting or sponsoring us. See Support IDEA for more information.
Here’s to a happy, safe, and prosperous new year!