Do you keep “everything” in fear of discarding something “valuable”? Do you know what formats are best for retaining digital items, including family photos, so that you have a good chance of seeing them in the future? What do you want people to remember about you? ArchivesInfo announces the release of a new book to help you thoughtfully create and maintain recorded information that describes your life and helps mold your legacy.
In her new book, “The Unofficial Family Archivist: A Guide to Creating and Maintaining Family Papers, Photographs, and Memorabilia”, author and professional archivist Melissa Mannon discusses the value of personal papers and introduces how to organize, preserve, and index your printed and digital materials.
According to Mannon, “Many irreplaceable materials that help tell individual stories, and the stories of our neighborhoods, are deteriorating among our personal belongings.” With that caution in mind, The Unofficial Family Archivist focuses on the care of personal papers, photographs, and memorabilia found in the typical home. It is written for people who want to protect family history. Mannon states, “the goal is to help you create, gather, and maintain a valuable family and community resource from the unique point of view of you and your loved ones.”
Mannon says that many people have a desire to care for their family collections, but do not know where to begin. She offers tips for thinking about your materials, whether you just want to get started or if you want a comprehensive plan for creating a family archive. The strength of her latest book is in how it offers various options to accommodate the unofficial family archivist who unexpectedly receives a box of papers from an ancestor or to help the serious family historian who wishes to keep a collection that aims for professional standards.
Mannon’s book also discusses ways to record stories that have not previously been documented. “I want to help people ensure that their materials last for a long time, but I also want to help them to realize that their family stories have significance to a larger cultural heritage. “I want to help people explore creative ways to pass on their family history. Not everyone is a writer or wants to be one. People can make quilts, videotape dinner table conversations, or make collages, if that will best motivate them to get stories out of their heads and recorded.”
The Unofficial Family Archivist is now available through Amazon.com and select local bookstores.
Author Melissa Mannon is an archivist, cultural heritage consultant and author of the ArchivesInfo blog and newsletter. This new publication expands the information from her previous publication, Cultural Heritage Collaborators: A Manual for Community Documentation (see http://www.archivesinfo.com/culturalcollab.php). Her consulting work, projects and workshops encourage cultural heritage organizations to work collaboratively with local governments, businesses, and individuals who keep records in order to identify archives and plan for their care. Visit her web site at http://www.archivesinfo.com