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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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    Friday
    Feb082013

    Ready to Get Started Organizing Your Family Keepsakes?

    Did the blog book tour leave you motivated to organize and digitize your family photos, documents, and letters? When I inherited my grandmother's treasures in 2000, I didn't know where to begin. I spent a lot of time just looking at stuff, reading letters, examining old photos, and trying to make sense of what I had. 

    If you're reading my book How to Archive Family Keepsakes, I suggest you use the book as a workbook to guide you step-by-step from taking stock to sorting and preserving. The 10 Checkpoints in chapters 1 through 5 are designed a worksheets to help you gain control of the project without being overwhelmed. 

    Just "looking at things" isn't a bad way to start a family archive project. You need to know what you have before you can do much of anything. The trick is, you want to MAINTAIN ORDER at all times (yes, that's a firm directive). By keeping "like with like" you help retain context that can provide clues to identification and meaning.

    Always work with clean hands on a sturdy clean surface. White cotton gloves are sometimes recommended, but they can be clumsy and actually cause damage too. It may be easier, and less risky to carefully handle paper and photos by the edges with clean hands. 

    Order in the Archive

    The original owner is the first level of organization important to maintain. For many years, I was only concerned with my maternal grandmother Arline's collection. Then, my father started sending over things from his parents, bit by bit. They didn't arrive in boxes, but as individual items, and were easily misplaced or mixed in with Arline's albums and boxes.

    Keep each collection separated by original owner or family.

    Keep items that arrive in groups or packets together, even if they are all different kinds of things such as photos, ticket stubs, or letters. Ask yourself why they were kept at all, and why they might be in this particular group?

    Maybe the assorted items are souvenirs of a weekend getaway, or mementoes from a relationship. The answer might not even be obvious for a long time. You can move things into archival envelopes and boxes when the time comes, but when you are just beginning to work with a collection, resist the urge to reorganize. 

    Get to know your family history treasures, but keep order in the archive.

    Tuesday
    Feb052013

    Student Genealogy Grant Announced

     

    A.C. Ivory and Elyse Doerflinger,
    Recipients of the 2012 Suzanne Freeman Student Genealogy Grant
    SCGS Jamboree Gala, Burbank CA

    Do you know a young genealogist who could use $500 toward their family history education and free registration to the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in June 2013?

    The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Grant Committee is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2013 Student Genealogy Grant, and that the SCGS Jamboree will once again provide the recipient with free three-day registration.

    Any genealogist who is between the ages of 18 and 25 and has attended school in the last 12 months is eligible to apply. The recipient must attend the 2013 SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, California to receive the award.

    The $500 cash award was established in 2010 in memory of Suzanne Winsor Freeman, family historian and life-long volunteer, and an enthusiastic annual attendee at the SCGS Jamboree.

    Denise Levenick and her mother, Suzanne Freeman
    2010 SCGS Jamboree, Delivering Geneabloggers Welcome Bags
     

    “The Freeman Student Genealogy Grant pays tribute to these interests by awarding the annual cash grant to a young genealogist attending the SCGS Jamboree, Southern California’s premiere regional genealogy conference,” notes Denise Levenick, committee chair and Freeman’s daughter.

    “We are especially grateful to Jamboree for providing a three-day conference registration to the grant recipient,” she adds. “SCGS is truly a leader in conference organizations by encouraging youth involvement in genealogy through the popular Kids Camp program and now through the student grant project.”

    Past recipients of the award include Elyse Doerflinger (Lomita, California), A.C. Ivory (Salt Lake City, Utah), and Anthony Ray (Palmdale, California).

    Funding for the cash award is provided by the family grant program; Jamboree registration is provided by the conference.

    Complete details and application materials are available at The Family Curator, Suzanne Freeman Student Grant. Application deadline is Monday, 18 March 2013.

    Follow Grant News at TheFamilyCurator.com

    For More Information Contact: Denise Levenick, swfgrant@gmail.com.

    Suzanne Winsor Freeman Obituary: TheFamilyCurator.com

    Monday
    Feb042013

    Learn More About Metadata

    I've been a fan of adding value to files with metadata for a long time. If you've ever used your computer search engine to find a specific file and the only identifier is a name like "lastsatfun.doc" or "IMG_0124.JPG," you know how difficult the task can be.

    Metadata, or "data about data," adds simple tags to files making them easier to find and giving you a chance to group, organize, and understand the relationships between files with the same tags. It's a bit like using a index to your files; your job is to provide the key words that make the index valuable.

    If you are unfamiliar with the term "metadata" you might wonder why I'm throwing out other words like "tags" and "keywords." Many software programs use these terms interchangeably. Sometimes they function in slightly different ways, but essentially metadata tags, and keywords all do a similar task by classifying your files for better access.

    Want to learn more? You are in luck because on 7 February 2013 DearMYRTLE will be hosting "Metadata is your Friend" a DearMYRTLE Workshop Webinar with Denise Barrett Olson and Thomas MacEntee.

    Way back in the early days of my adventures in archiving, I read Denise Olson's posts about metadata and knew I had found a kindred soul. With three tech-gurus meeting to talk about using metadata in your family history work, Thursday's webinar workshop promises to be an outstanding event.

    Sign up at DearMYRTLE to attend Thursday, February at 6pm. And, while you are waiting for the event, do a little advance homework so you are ready to get as much as you can from the evening --

    Photo Metadata, at the Moultrie Creek Gazette

    Using Adobe Lightroom to Manage Genealogy Images, at The Family Curator

    Thursday
    Jan312013

    Are You Ready for the Family History Writing Challenge?

    FH WritingChal badge

    Researching family history is one thing; writing about it is another. The Armchair Genealogist has thrown down the glove and challenged family historians to pick up a pen and commit to writing about their family history. "If not now, then when?" asks Lynn Palermo, writer and creator The Family History Challenge.

    The 28-day project runs throughout the month of February. The event is simple, you choose --

    • who or what you want to write about
    • how many words per day to write
    • where to write

    The best part 

    • No Judge, No Jury
    • Just write, edit later

    When you sign up for the challenge, you receive an encouraging daily email and can participate in the challenge forum to share ideas and inspiration. Still not sure, check out the Family History Writing Challenge website for "28 Days of Motivation" and the Challenge Blog for posts from last year's event.

    I'm picking up the glove; are you?

    Tuesday
    Jan292013

    Your Opinion Counts! Blog Book Tour Survey Wants You!

     Did you read one or more posts during the How to Archive Keepsake Blog Book Tour? If so, I'd value your opinion about the tour in this short Book Tour Survey.

    Did you enjoy the articles you read?

    Were you looking for more reviews?

    More book excerpts?

    More fascinating exclusive content?

    Dont' be shy. . . Please share your thoughts in this short 10 question survey, with my appreciation for your time and interest.

    Click HERE for the Survey. Thank you.

     

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