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In my last post, I argued that item level description can be like accidentally ending up on a freight train to crazytown —  especially if your family archive is BIG and it includes boxes n’ boxes n’ boxes of historic treasures. This is also true if you’ve been left with an alarming number of unidentified […]

Background: I asked my email list subscribers and readers to tell me about their greatest information need with regard to family photos. There were lots of choices, but two rose to the top. Of the two, “How to Organize Photos Like An Archivist” was the winner. ———————————————————————- Level of Description: What Does That Mean? Most […]

LBJ Orders Pants. Now with animation! Adam and Jesse, the dapper charmers behind this video aren’t in the business of making history engaging and interesting,  but they did a bang-up job of it, anyway. THEREFORE, I would like to: Buy them a Wisconsin beer. Nominate this video for SAA’s “I Found It! In the Archives” […]

[Re: The “?” in the title: Although it comes as a surprise to many people, this information and advice is not even remotely shocking if you are an archivist. Just sayin. ] Contrary to popular belief, archivists do not keep everything. Whaaat? An archivist? Throwing things out? Yep. I spent more time learning the art […]

Oh, my. I love that phrase so much I built a whole goshdarn series around it. The Talismanic Aura of Authenticity – The Series This is Part 1 in a series exploring why certain objects have a kind of power over us. It’s is the kind of power that transforms an ordinary object into a […]

Lisa Louise Cooke and I had an interesting chat about how to preserve newspaper clippings. You get to listen in our conversation because we recorded it for Lisa’s Genealogy Gems podcast. Yay! Episode 83 is ready and waiting for you. Below are my notes from that talk. Before we begin our examination of old clippings, […]

In an earlier post about how to organize photos, I talked about respecting age. The older the photograph, the harder you should try to find another home for it if you don’t want to keep it yourself. Part of the reason why you should respect age is because age goes hand in hand with scarcity. […]

. I realize that my advice about tossing photos (“lose the dreck!”) can make some folks nervous. If you are one of those people, I want to reassure you that I do not suggest anyone toss out ancestor photos willy-nilly. No way. Respect Age (when you toss photo clutter) “Respect Age” – means just that. […]

Scrapbooking is a very popular hobby here in the United States. Surely you’ve seen stunning examples in your own family or group of friends. And who wouldn’t appreciate a personalized scrapbook made for them by someone they love? What a beautiful, thoughtful gift!   . But there’s a dark side to this — and it […]

Our favorite photographs are valuable beyond measure. Many folks name a photo or album of photos as the possession they would grab first if they ever had to flee. Just last month, I heard a story about a woman who escaped her burning office tower on September 11th…only to rush back inside to retrieve the […]