Keepsakes Divorced from their Narratives

Keepsakes Divorced from their Narratives

My last post I shared the importance of recording the stories that are linked to our keepsakes. We all want to prevent our keepsakes from being “divorced from their narrative, heirlooms without heirs, untold tales, poems in search of poets.” This post, I will share some ideas on how to document and inventory your keepsakes.Saving the keepsake’s stories though, doesn’t go far enough. As family curators it is necessary to document our archives and collections. My 3rd cousin from Hawaii was here for dinner the other night. He mentioned that a family Bible had been donated to a private museum. While anyone is free to go and look at it, you would have to know that it was there to ask for it to be brought out so that you could enjoy seeing it!Brown Family Bible circa 1903Let’s discuss this common situation - say there is only one family Bible, that only one person out of all the eligible descendants is going to inherit. The other less fortunate relatives can still share in the keepsake in a Continue reading

I’m so Confused? What am I?

Genealogist? Family Historian, Curator, Archivist? I have been pondering what it is that I do and what to call myself for awhile. I can see that I am not the only one after reading Nancy’s post on My Ancestors and Me blog. I could be called a genealogist because I research lineage and create family trees for myself and others professionally. But, because I want to know more than just the mere names and dates - I want to know about their history, their culture and more details than just the facts ma'am…which also makes me a family historian and a poor imitator of Sgt. Friday.At RootsTech I heard the terms “curator and archivist” bandied about a bit.  A curator is responsible for the 'care and acquisitions of objects' and the term has recently moved to include not just objects but digital records. An archivist is primarily concerned with preservation for future generations the information that is in a collection or library.With all the stuff collectibles, photos, books, papers and images Continue reading