Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Be your own curator: Part Two

"If you don't recount your family history, it will be lost.
Honor your own stories and tell them, too.
The tales may not seem very important,
but they are what binds families and
makes each of us who we are."
                                   Madeleine L'Engle, American Writer
Your archives may not have been excavated from sites in Egypt, but rather from the basement, garage, closet, shed or storage unit. These are no less places of wonder in their own right. A museum makes no excuses for saving things. Now we can be our own museum curator, selecting a place/places in our homes, even places of business, where we maintain an orderly, welcoming, and beautiful space filled with a treasure trove of heirlooms, artifacts and achievements for all to enjoy today, tomorrow and generations from now.  
3. Art Collections: thought provoking memories    
    * Set aside time to go through your
       family’s art works
    * Assess the wall and counter space in
       your museum area
    * Photograph digitally or create a special
       album to display and record the
       art objects rendered to storage, or if you
       choose, to give away or sell
    * Find another home for a treasure you love. Offer it to a relative
       or friend.

4. When the artwork is that of a child’s, be circumspect:
  * Save the best and put the others in a
     labeled folder to file.
  * Create an online photo album or notebook
     album with clear pocket sleeves to display,
     protect & save artwork.
  * If the child's precious artwork is not on
     display in the museum, ensure them that
   their art is kept safe in the archives.
5. Photos and photo albums: a daunting task
    * Sort through, keeping the best shots, dispose
       ruined or duplicate photos
    * Replace albums if they are in poor condition
    * Create new ones with
       archival materials
    * Copy and save digitally. The satisfaction
       you receive from preserving.    
       those moments in time will be
   * Frame and place pertinent photos in the museum to enhance the history of the displayed object.

6. Oral history: Stories, conversations, music, Living History   
* voices on cassette tapes
* images and voices on film
* keep a solid format
   backup for oral
   histories for all to
You never know in this world of ever changing formats what might come in handy. Archivists are strong believers in 'better safe than sorry.'

7. The written Word:
   The need for transcription of letters, diaries,
    manuscripts, documents:
* written longhand or on early typewriters, 
   sometimes they are hard to read. There's a wealth
   of wonderful stories that should be saved & shared,
   and if you do not personally pour over these 
   documents and transcribe/or translate what you can,
 or you will never see their words again.

8. Archives represent your heritage, culture & diversity:
   In an archive, one can re-live the past and see it in a
   new light. Archives are also places where your
   history is ripe for rediscovery. Wake up to your
   history. It will transform your family's life.   

If you have any questions concerning the topics covered here, please comment. I will answer them the best I can. Thank you.




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