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    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

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    Tuesday
    May222012

    Adding Context to a Family Keepsake

    Now that I've decided to reproduce my aunt's home economics notebook, I am looking for ways to make the book more interesting and uncover any other stories related to this little keepsake. My approach isn't strictly genealogical; it's more a blend of local and family history with a dose of literary criticism from my high school English Lit teacher past.

    My purpose is to add a "sense of place" to the notebook, not to overwhelm it with facts, figures, or history. I will probably need to select the most compelling information and save the other research for background. Here's my initial brainstorm list of possibilities; feel free to leave a comment if you can add to the list.

    I used MindNode for Mac (free) to brainstorm possible topics:


    I like using a mapping tool for brainstorming, but here it is in list format:

    Franny's Food Notebook

    Food Notebook

    • Part 1 Requirements
    • kitchen how-tos
    • 50's homemaking
    • food trends
    • Part 2 Personalized
    • recipes
    • clippings
    • comments

    Author: Frances Brown

    • age 13
    • family
    • parents Frank & Arline father working?
    • 1 sister Susie
    • home address frequent moves
    • friends

    Willard School

    • junior high
    • santa ana, ca
    • new school bldg 1931
    • home economics class semester or yr long?
    • teacher?
    • what was it like? girls only?

    1944

    • home ec
    • wartime
    • orange county

    With so many possibilities to make the story richer, it will be tough to choose the best. What have I missed?

     

     

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    Reader Comments (2)

    Putting the notebook in its historical context is an excellent way to gain insight into your aunt's world. When you mention food trends and working parents, then add a question about girls only, I think you're onto something invaluable. I'm looking forward to reading how your project evolves. Keep up the good work!

    May 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

    Thanks, Andrea. I!m enjoying this little project but sure wish I could find Franny in the 1940 census. The family moved around so much that I may have to search the entire city!

    May 23, 2012 | Registered CommenterFamily Curator
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