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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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    Monday
    Jul082013

    How Genealogy Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement Makes Everyone a Loser

    I hate being a “loser.” But I am, and so are you. And it makes me angry.

    Last week I spent two afternoons preparing a How To article for The Family Curator. The topic was suggested by questions on Facebook and Google+, and was something I’ve had in mind for some time, “How to Relax Old Rolled Photographs.” I wanted to offer a step-by-step photo tutorial on how to tackle this do-it-yourself project.

    To create the tutorial photos, I needed to stage my process at each step. It took a few hours to get out all the materials, set up the shots and take the pictures. Next, I had to move them to my computer, resize, tag, crop, and write the article. This one blog post took two full afternoons to prepare. 

    I was ready to publish the article on The Family Curator when I read about the court decision involving a longtime website and a relative newcomer, and the discussion that followed.

    Barry Ewell eMail #30 Remember the Power of One
    “Litigation Between Cyndi’s List and MyGenShare Dismissed”

    and Comments by:

    Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

    Dear Myrtle: Is there such as thing as ethical plagiarism?

    Michael Hait: Copyright, plagiarism, and citing your sources 

    I’m a writer, first, and a genealogist second. I sell words, not research. I like blogging because it gives me a place to write, and I enjoy the response from readers. Every comment, whether at my blog or through email or Facebook is a kind of paycheck, the reward that makes me want to keep writing.

    I don’t want to earn a living blogging because I don’t want to spend my time analyzing conversion rates, SEO, campaign strategy, etc. 

    I just want to write. I write for magazines, other websites, newsletters, and all kinds of outlets, and often I am paid for the products I provide.  It may take a full week working part-time hours for me to draft, edit, create images, and send off a magazine article. Weeks later, I receive a check for the article.

    Some blog posts require more time, too, like the “How to” I’ve been working on. I have to set up materials for the photos, take the pictures, tag, resize, post to blog, write the article, and finally publish, hoping that readers find it useful (and maybe even leave a comment).

    So here’s where we all lose.

    I Lose

    As a writer and genealogy blogger I lose the claim of protected intellectual property.

    When I read about cases of plagiarism and copyright infringement where it’s unclear if an author has been able to defend his or her rights, I begin to think twice about what I write and post as free content on my own blog. After all, there is little guarantee that the same won’t happen to my content. I might turn on my computer  tomorrow and find that my “How to” article is behind a pay wall on a subscription website, or offered for sale under someone else’s name. Yes, I can demand that the material be removed, file a complaint, and state my legal rights, and I’ve done so in the past. But, the cold reality is that it keeps happening.

    If Content is King in blogging, but content cannot be protected, where does this leave the genealogy writer?

    Do we self-edit – only publishing on our blog what we are willing to lose and see appear under another by-line?

    Do we hold back “best stuff” to sell and post only reprints or non-marketable material?

    Do we spend so much time defending our intellectual property that we have less time to create new original material?

    You Lose

    We have an active and responsive genealogy blogging community. We talk to each other (a lot). But there are many more genealogists and family historians who are not bloggers and come to us for information, news, research tips, and know-how. They look for FREE first. And, that’s okay.

    If genealogy writers begin to revise their editorial practices and choice of content, where does that leave the genealogy reader?

    Less free original content

    Less free quality content

    Less content overall

    We all lose.

    Unless, writers and readers can work together to help maintain and protect intellectual property of the creators.

    Refuse to lose.

     

    • If you notice a breach of copyright on a website, PLEASE take time to notify the original author. Give the author a heads-up so they can take action to protect their work.
    • Always give credit where credit is due. Link to other blogs, use quotes, use citations, and ask permission before reposting someone else’s work, whether it’s a photo, an article, or a research conclusion.
    • Let writers know that you like the information they provide. Take time to “pay” for that free content with a quick comment, a Facebook “Like,” or Twitter RT.

     

    I’m not giving in, yet. Come back tomorrow for How to Relax Old Rolled Photos.

    Thursday
    Jul042013

    A Blog Birthday to Celebrate! Now I Am Six!

    May denise 1959 bday

    Put another candle on the birthday cake. . .

    It's hard to believe that The Family Curator is SIX this year! Was it only six years ago that I began reading Arlne's mail and fussing with old photographs? It feels like they've been part of my life forever, but have to remind myself that I didn't inherit her keepsakes until the turn of the century (this century!). 

    It was about 2000 when Arline's steamer trunk of keepsakes passed from my Aunt's care to my Mom. Auntie wanted the trunk, so Mom got the contents in cardboard boxes, and that's how the letters, photos, and all the other stuff came to me.

    The rest, as they say, is history. Which nudges me to make a few notes on the

    The History of The Family Curator Blog

    4 July 2007 -- Inspired by Thoreau selecting Independence Day as the jumping-off point for his time at Walden Pond,  I launch The Family Curator blog on 4 July 2007. Create Reading Women's Lives, high school English unit for my upper-division students using letters, documents, and photos from the Arline Allen Kinsel Papers. Begin an online journal (web-log) on Blogger to record my efforts. I discover I like blogging.

    4 July 2008 -- footnoteMaven features my classroom experience "Reading Women's Lives" at Shades of the Departed online photo magazine. My mom joins me in the search for Arline's story. I start to explore the world of FaceBook.

    2009 -- I enjoy meeting genealogy bloggers in real-time at conferences and seminars throughout the year. My new status as "retired teacher" gives me more time to blog and work with Arline's archive. The Family Curator changes blogging platforms and design moving to SquareSpace.

    2010 -- An exciting year when The Family Curator is named one of Family Tree Magazine's Top 40 Blogs. Arline's letters and photos are scanned, filed, and researched. The bottom falls off the world when my mom becomes ill, and passes away in August; my genealogy buddy is gone. 

    2011 -- Blogging is slow, but geneablogging friends are a great support this year. The Family Curator is honored to be included in the Top 40 Blogs, and a new project is in the works, a book about working with family archives. Twilter explodes; The Family Curator is there.

    2012 -- Writing, writing, writing. How to Archive Family Keepsakes, F+W Media is published. Blog redesign and update; still on SquareSpace. Now we have to track Pinterest, Facebook, Google + and Twitter. Whew!

    2013 -- So far this year, Blog Book Tour for my new book. Speaking, writing, and having a great time doing what I love -- writing about family history and family keepsakes. Stay tuned for more new projects!

    Wednesday
    Jul032013

    Lady Liberty is "At Home" July 4, 2013

    Liberty Island Reopens to Visitors

    Lady liberty

    The National Park Service has announced that the Statue of Liberty will reopen to visitors on 4 July 2013 after being closed for repairs following damage from Hurricane Sandy last fall. The grounds have been refurbished, docks rebuilt, and new exhibits mounted just in time for the summer vacation center.

    The NPS notes that due to expected high demand, visitors must make reservations and reserve tickets ahead of time. For more information, visit the National Park Service website.

    Image Credit: Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty - the illumination of New York Harbor [Bird's-eye view of the statue, harbor and fireworks], 1886, Wood Engraving after a drawing by Charles Graham, Library of Congress Library of Congress, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b32167.

    Monday
    Jul012013

    Countdown to GRIPitt Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh

    I can hardly wait to go back to school! In three weeks I will be sitting in a classroom at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh for a week-long intensive genealogy course. You could be there too!

    As of June 26, a few seats were still available in three outstanding courses:

    Intermediate Research, coordinator Paula Stuart-Warren

    Military Records, coordinator Craig R. Scott

    Writing a Quality Narrative, coordinator John Colletta

    I was a student in Paula Stuart-Warren's Intermediate Research course last summer along with over two dozen researchers with all levels of expertise. Some students were experienced in working with clients, others focused on their own family research, and many were somewhere in between. The pace was steady, absorbing, and challenging.

    2012 July 26 Intermediate class cropped

    Paula taught most of the Intermediate Research sessions, and coordinated lectures presented by Josh Taylor on several subjects. The inaugural 2012 program offered four courses; this year there will be six.

    One of the things I liked about the institute setting is the opportunity to interact with faculty and students outside of class. The collegial atmosphere in the common spaces and dining hall encourage conversation and exchange. GRIP Directors Elissa Scalise Powell and Debbie Deal were ever present and always smiling; everything ran so smoothly that it seemed like they had been running GRIP for years. 

    If you have been thinking about attending GRIP and can fit one week of outstanding genealogy education into your schedule July 21 - 26, 2013, act now and register to attend the 2013 program. Read more last year's program from attending student bloggers here; and in my posts about the week:

    Off to GRIP for Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh

    GRIP Pittsburgh Day One Recap

    GRIP Day Two: Getting Into the Groove

    Getting a GRIP on the 2012 Inaugural Session of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh

    Book Review: My Genealogy Book Purchases at GRIP

    In keeping with my goal to Learn One New Thing This Summer, I'm focusing on Mastering Genealogical Proof. I will attending Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard, coordinator Dr. Thomas W. Jones.  Training is already underway: less sleep, more stamina!

    Please stop me and say "hello" if you will be at GRIP! See you in soon!

    Wednesday
    Jun192013

    Remembering Summer and Making Time to Learn "One New Thing"

    The First Day of Summer is Almost Here: What New Thing Are You Ready to Learn?

    One golden summer I conquered the Lord of the Rings; another I learned to turn a heel in hand knit socks. In our house, summer has always been a season of opportunity.

    My sister and I never went to summer school; instead we passed the hot, smoggy Southern California months of July and August painting rocks and weaving pine-needle baskets at scout camp, solving mysteries with Nancy Drew at the public library, and molding clay at the city Parks and Recreation Department kids' program.

    If we had a gap between programs, Mom made sure we were learning about salesmanship by marketing lemons and avocados from our backyard trees, or becoming skilled craftsmen by  weaving loopy potholders or sewing doll clothes. 

    Girl Scout Day Camp, Orange County, California, about 1963.
    That's me in the back with the bucket hat next to my mom, Suzanne May. 

    I tried to continue the family summer tradition with my own two sons, with mixed results. One summer, when he was about eight years old, the older son was stuck on stamp collecting. I drove him to a weekly Kids and Stamps Club directed by a local postmaster, and we started ordering First Day Covers and soaking old stamps off envelopes. 

    The next year, it was baseball cards and player's autographs.

    The younger son was infatuated with model-making. He painted tiny model soldiers, and then graduated to building and flying model airplanes.

    The "no summer school" policy worked until high school when they wanted to spend the extra weeks with their friends in school programs.  We compromised. I insisted that they learn something different, something new, something fun. The first summer they learned to grill a steak. Extremely useful! Next, they became adept at omelets. With dinner and breakfast mastered, they have gone on to be pretty useful in the kitchen.

    Summer was always my time to learn something new, as well. As a high school English teacher, I usually needed to read several novels and develop new curriculum materials. It was a great  excuse to visit New England when I taught Early American Lit. But, summer wasn't always about school.

    I used the break to learn One New Thing Each Summer --

    • create tables, outlines, and Tables of Contents in Microsoft Word (useful)
    • basic photo editing in Photoshop Elements (fun)
    • how to can tomatoes (hot, but rewarding!)
    • how to make a reproduction civil war quilt
    • how to scan my grandmother's letters

    If it looks like each of these "skills" is a project, you'd be right. It seems like there is always some new project waiting for just the time, focus, or extra bit of knowledge needed to make it happen. I was a frustrated daily MS Word user until I bought a guide and worked through enough exercises to learn what I needed to know. Ditto, photo editing with PS Elements.

    Of course, some new skills just happen -- the tomato explosion that led to learning how to preserve salsa, tomatoes, and blended tomato sauce. I even won a few blue ribbons at the county fair for those projects!

    The last several years I've been working on organizing, sorting, and digitizing different family collections and learned -- 

    • the best scanning resolution for my papers and photos
    • how to put together a DIY copy stand
    • easy file naming and folder organization for my new digital images
    • how to file the original papers so I can find them again

    But, my own genealogy research has been set aside long enough. This summer, I have already decided on on One New Thing to Learn This Summer, (plus One Other New Thing just for fun).

    I have a copy of Mastering Genealogical Proof in hand; I am enrolled in Dr. Tom Jones course at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh; and I am ready to become immersed in the Genealogical Proof Standard.

    All of this is probably enough for one summer learning experience, but I can't resist adding one more thing I really really want to learn this summer -- I am determined to master my step-mother's southern fried chicken. Hot, crispy, juicy. I don't think anyone will complain.

    So, what One New Thing are YOU Learning This Summer?

    Sunday
    Jun162013

    Fieldstone Common Interviews The Family Curator: BlogTalkRadio Staff Pick

    Listen anytime to the latest episode of Fieldstone Common Blog Talk Radio where Marian Pierre-Louis and I talk about the "backstory" to my book How to Archive Family Keepsakes. Although Marian and I have never met in person, we share a common passion for old houses and family treasures.

    I had a great time as the guest on Fieldstone Common and enjoyed answering listener questions on preserving keepsakes. If you have questions or comments after listening to the program, please feel free to leave a comment to this post for my response.

    The 60-minute program is now available for listening via web or iTunes podcast at the Fieldstone Common website, and was named a Staff Pick for this weekend.

     

     

    Friday
    Jun142013

    YOU Helped! Michael Savoca Receives 2013 Suzanne Freeman Student Genealogy Grant at SCGS 2013 Jamboree

    Michael Savoca, a college student from Toms River, New Jersey was awarded the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant Award at the Scholarship Breakfast on 9 June 2013 at the annual Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California.

    Funding for this year's grant was partially assisted by the proceeds from sales of Denise Levenick's new book How to Archive Family Keepsakes during the Blog Book Tour in January 2013. Thank you!

    Savoca Levenick

    Denise May Levenick with Michael Savoca,
    recipient of the 2013 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant

    The Freeman Student Grant was established by family and friends in 2010 in memory of Suzanne Winsor Freeman, family historian and life-long volunteer, and an enthusiastic annual attendee at the SCGS Jamboree. Each year, Jamboree has included a complimentary full-registration package for the recipient.

    Denise Levenick, Grant Chair, and Paula Hinkel, Jamboree Co-Chair introduced Michael to the breakfast attendees where he received a warm and enthusiastic welcome to the conference. Mike's father, Vinny Savoca, traveled with him to the conference and they were able to reconnect with California cousins while in Burbank.

    Mike has been researching his family history for over a decade, and participating in online genealogy forums and message boards for nearly as many years. His expertise in Italian and Croatian research have made him a popular volunteer online and at his local Family History Center. He has been able to travel with family to their ancestral village in Croatia and complete research in original records provided by the parish. He has also worked extensively with Italian records and assisted with the records of the Gente di Mare genealogy website. 

    "Mike is a wonderful representative for genealogists of his generation," noted Denise Levenick. "He brings enthusiasm, expertise, and a willingness to 'give back' to the genealogy community. It's obvious that Mike has a great future in genealogy, and we are delighted to encourage his research and genealogical education with this award."

    In addition to researching his Italian, Croatian, Irish, German, and Hungarian roots, Michael is interested in learning more about using DNA for genealogical research and about professional archival management. He is a history major at Kean University and would like to become a Certified Genealogist.

    You can contribute to the 2014 Grant Fund by donating HERE

     

    Thursday
    Jun132013

    Get Started Archiving Your Family Treasures With Free Worksheet from Preserving Keepsakes Workshop

    When I first started working with the boxes of family photogaphs, old letters, and documents inherited from my maternal grandmother I was overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless selection of archival containers. I didn't know if letters should be stored upright in file folders or flat in drop front boxes (answer: either). I was confused by plastic sleeves vs. paper sleeves for photo storage (answer: either). And, I really didn't understand all the archival terms like acid-free, lignin, buffered, and P.A.T.

    My presentation Paper or Plastic?: Preserving Keepsakes Workshop at last weekend's Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California was designed to answer those questions. I wanted it to be the workshop I needed all those years ago. The 90-minute format gave time for a slide-show presentation followed by discussion of product options and lots of Q&A.

    Use the Hands On Worksheet

    To make it even more useful, I put together a Hands On Worksheet to walk through the first three steps of working with family collections. Answering these questions will help anyone wondering what do first when you inheirit family treasures. You may not have attended the Paper or Plastic Workshop, but I hope you will find this Worksheet useful for your own family archive.

    Download the Preserving Keepsakes Workshop Worksheet HERE.

    Here's a brief overview of how to get started:

    1. Decide on your role and goal.

    Do you see yourself as a Curator, a Creator, or a Caretaker of the collection? 

    • A Curator arranges, selects, and finds meaning in a collection.
    • A Creator might be more focused on how to refashion items (or information) into an artistic creation like a scrapbook or family tree.
    • A Caretaker, is one of the most underrated roles, but we owe a debt to those Caretakers whose main goal is to preserve and pass on family keepsakes.

    2. Name your collection.

    Instead of "Grandma's Stuff" start referring to your inheiratance as a collection, The Arline Kinsel Papers, The Brown Photo Collection, etc. You are preserving history, after all, the history of your family.

    3. Decide where to locate your collection.

    Find a place within your living space where the temperature is consistent, not too hot, not too cold, relatively dry and clean, and free of pests and pollution. It should also be fairly dark, as light hastens the deterioration of almost everything. An interior closet or even a metal filing cabinet are good choices.

    Get Ready to Store Your Family Keepsakes

    Next, you'll need to make notes about the kinds and quantity of items you need to store and select appropriate containers. The Worksheet also includes: 

    • a form to get you started listing items, quantity, and container options
    • photos of the most popular archival storage containers
    • contact information for archival suppliers

    You can download the FREE Workshop Worksheet Here and Get Started Archiving Your Family Keepsakes. Please let me know in the comments if you find it helpful! 

    ... and now a word from our sponsors

    Disclosure: The Preserving Keepsake Workshops featured popular archival products kindly supplied by Hollinger Metal Edge and Sentry Safe. I received samples from the company but no other renumeration. If you order from Hollinger and use FAMILYCURATOR in the Code Box, I receive a small referral commmisson. If you order supplies through Amazon using my links, I also receive a small affiliate commission.

    Wednesday
    Jun122013

    Family Curator on Fieldstone Common Blog Talk Radio This Thursday 

    Fieldstone Common with Denise Levenick

    Host Marian Pierre-Louis will interview Denise May Levenick, The Family Curator, tomorrow Thursday, 13 June 2013 at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Fieldstone Common internet radio show, .

    The weekly program features "authors and historians who bring history alive" with a focus on New England and the Northeast. Marian is also a House Historian and Genealogical Lecturer who is active in New England historical research. 

    Tune in Thursday to hear Marian talk with author Denise May Levenick about her new book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes, and discuss the challenges of safely caring for family photographs, documents, and artifacts. Listeners to the LIVE program will also have an opportunity to win a free copy of Denise's book and ask questions about their own preservation challenges.

    Show time is

    1:00 pm EDT
    12:00 pm CDT
    11:00 am MDT
    10:00 am PDT

    All shows are available on the Fieldstone Common Archive for listenting at a later time, as well. 

    Tuesday
    Jun112013

    We're Puttin' on Our Shades for Golden Rule Days, Tuesday's Tip

    Shades

    Miss Penelope Dreadful is pleased to endorse Golden Rule Days, the latest edition of Shades of the Departed Magazine published by footnoteMaven.

    NewImage

    Inside the over of this beautifully illustrated full-sepia journal, the reader will find 122 pages filled with perfectly precious photographs, handsome heirlooms, attractive artwork, persuasive prose and various verse, along with a short work presented by yours truly, Miss Penelope Dreadful.

    As readers may (or may not) know, this reporter has enjoyed weaving tales of suspense, intrigue, and near-truth for many issues of Shades of the Departed, (now available in back issues from the Publisher). These various pieces of protracted prose are inspired by Miss Maven's extensive collection of Photographs of various subjects. Miss Maven proffers the photograph and Miss Dreadful delivers the deed, er goods. 

    Our latest tale involves unraveling the story behind the old photograph, and takes into consideration the Science of Phrenology as revealed by a careful analysis of the photograph on exhibit, that of Schoolteacher Alice B. Olver. Please enjoy "Penny's Dreadful Secrets Unlocking the Clues in Old Photographs" beginning on page 18 of the current issue of Shades of the Departed Magazine. Feel free to address your compliments to Miss Dreadful ℅ the Publisher.

    Tweet It --

    Miss Penny Dreadful LOVES Shades of the Departed #oldphoto Magazine. RT if you do too! -- Click to Tweet

    It's Here! Shades of the Departed New Edition #oldphotos #genealogy -- Click to Tweet

    Monday
    Jun102013

    5 New Things I Learned at #SCGS2013 Jamboree Including New Data on the Hockey Gene

    . . . and a few wild and crazy discoveries about my genealogy friends.

    Nextgen meetup

    Next Gen MeetUp at Jamboree #SCGS2013 

    1. The Genealogy Generation Gap Has Been Zapped!

    The Chart Chick Janet Hovorka is really on to something with her new book, Zap the Grandma Gap -- If you didn't know it already, genealogy has become a multi-generational passion, and a look around the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree conference proves it!

    The exact numbers haven't been released, but as a long-time Jamboree attendee, I could see that Y- and Z-generation Jamboree attendees, speakers, and exhibitors were present in greater numbers than ever before at the 2013 event.

    The 2013 Student Genealogy Grant recipient Mike Savoca was a first-time Jamboree attendee, but he found plenty of student-company with Elyse Doerflinger, Anthony Ray, Mike Melendez, and other young genealogists.

    The new NextGen Genealogy Network held a standing-room only virtual meet-up organized by Elyse to introduce Jamboree to NextGen organizers. 

    A look 'round the exhibit hall showed new faces with new products, too. Treelines' Tammy Hepps was on hand to show off her online new story-telling software after winning the Developer's Prize at RootsTech 2013.

    2. Genetic Genealogy is HOT!

    Everyone was talking about the DNA Day held as a pre-conference event on Thursday, June 6. Each session sounded better than the last, featuring respected scholars and researchers presenting on various aspects of genetic genealogy.

    I was sorry to miss this event, but will be sure to catch it if there is an encore next year! You know a conference is good when the audio-visual recording staff is still talking about it two days later.

    Blog summit paul hawthorne

    Bloggers' Summit, Host Thomas MacEntee; 
    from left Paula Stuart-Warren, Judy G. Russell, Denise Levenick, CeCe Moore
    (photo courtesy J. Paul Hawthorne) 

    3. Genealogy Blogging is Not Going Away

    I was privileged to join Paula Stuart-Warren, CeCe Moore, Judy G. Russell at the Bloggers' Summit moderated by GeneaBloggers' Thomas MacEntee. This annual event is a touchpoint for genealogy bloggers and gives a good sense of how we got where we are and what to look for in the future.

    With over 3,000 genealogy blogs currently listed at the GeneaBloggers website, it's clear that blogging has found an audience in the genealogy community. You'd think that everyone was reading genealogy blogs, but in reality, I heard a comment after the summit that only about 10% of genealogists regularly read blogs. If that figure is correct, a lot of family historians are missing out on some great resources.

    Although each panelist admitted that there just isn't time enough to read all the blogs we'd like to cover, no one saw blogs diminishing in popularity anytime soon. In fact, one of the first questions from the audience was about starting a genealogy blog.

    4. Genealogy Can Be Really Really Funny

    Dan Poffenberger's presentation at the Sunday morning scholarship breakfast was the best early-morning wake-up call I've heard in a long time. He gave a VERY humorous look at some of the actual records he's found along his research career, including pre-cradle to post-grave excerpts of parish registers, census records, wills, and other documents. Dan also revealed a hint of what it's like growing up with an unusual surname.

    5. Researching the "Hockey Gene"

    Inquiring minds wanted to know: Is "hockey love/obsession/passion" acquired or inherited? So, I went to the best source I know for All Things Hockey: Rhonda R. McClure (aka "nationally  recognized genealogist and lecturer on New England, immigration and naturalization, Italian, German, institutional, fraternal and computerized genealogy. . ."). 

    Rhonda's name pops up frequently as a genealogy lecturer, and nearly as often on Facebook cheering on her ice-favorites. I figured she was the go-to resource for this specialized research query.

    The question: "How did you become interested (read: obsessed) with ice hockey?"

    Her answer: "I'm from New Hampshire."

    So, there you have it. Geographic Genetics. 

    Tweetables --

     

    Wednesday
    Jun052013

    Meet Mr. Curator at #SCGS2013 Jamboree: Vintage Treasure Chest Thursday

    DanOldGreen

    We sold the truck, but Mr. Curator is still in the picture!

    Come by and say "Hello" at the Family Tree Magazine booth VM003 at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, Calirfornia Friday through Sunday, June 7-9. I will be signing my book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes all weekend, and Mr. Curator will be helping out on Sunday.

    Bring your family heirloom, archiving, and organizing questions for a free consultation, and plan to attend the presentations on organizing and preserving family keepsakes --

    Paper or Plastic: Preserving Family Keepsakes is a 90-minute hand-on workshop that will include lecture, demonstration, and plenty of archival storage samples for your examination. SU019 10:00 am to 11:30 am.

    Lessons from the Archive is a traditional lecture-presentation, and will be Live-Streamed to home viewers. This session will highlight dos and don'ts for working with inherited collections, and specific case study examples from my home archives. You must pre-register to view the Live-Streamed session by signing-up HERE. SU029 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm.

    See you there!

     

    Wednesday
    Jun052013

    Touchy Feely Time with Archival Boxes and Folders at #SCGS13

    6 alpha trunk new

    Join me at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree to get up close and personal with the most popular archival storage products -- and a few new surprises in preservation containers -- for Paper or Plastic? Preserving Keepsakes Workshop on Sunday, June 9th.

    I am especially excited to be showing off some new-to-me (and maybe to you) products from Hollinger Metal Edge and Sentry Safe. Both companies were kind enough to send me sample products and a lot of great information to share with attendees. I will also have a limited number of archival product catalogs available from Hollinger Metal Edge.

    This 90-minute workshop could also be called "Everything I Wish I Had Known When I Inherited My First Family Collection." We will discuss how to safely preserve an assortment of family artifacts, including documents, correspondence, photographs, and artifacts, and attendees will have a chance to see and handle a selection of archival storage containers.

    Paper or Plastic will begin with a presentation highlighting 

    • What Makes It an Heirloom?
    • Roles and Goals for Collectors
    • Archives 101
    • Preservation Case Studies
    • Make It Yourself Archival Options

    Following the presentation, there will be time for product demonstrations and questions, and hand-on with the sample products.

    When I first inherited my grandmother's treasures, I was overwhelmed by the huge assortment of archival storage boxes. Should I use an upright box or a flat box? Drop front or telescoping lid? Is there a difference between grey archival board and black or tan? It took hours to unravel the mysteries of the catalog and finally begin to move my keepsakes into appropriate storage. I hope Sunday's presentation will cut through the infusion and help you organize and preserve your family treasures.

    Sunday, June 7 10:00am - 11:30 am SCGS Jamboree
    Paper or Plastic? Preserving Keepsakes Workshop

    Attendees will find a 4-page handout in the Jamboree Syllabus and a Workshop Worksheet to use during the session on the Jamboree App (look in the Exhibitor listing under The Family Curator for the downloads).

    Thursday
    May302013

    Lessons from the Family Archive: Streamed from SCGS Jamboree

    I Inherited the Stuff

    Are you scratching your head over what to do first with your inherited family keepsakes? Wondering how to save your treasures from damage without breaking the bank? Join me Sunday afternoon June 9th for Lessons from the Archive streamed live from the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California. 

    I am excited to be presenting one of the fourteen live-streamed events from the SCGS Jamboree as part of JamboStream, sponsored by Ancestry.com. You must be pre-registered to view the sessions, and you must register for each individual session you with to attend. Click here for the complete schedule and registration information.

    I inherited my first BIG family archive from my grandmother about 2000. Everything had been stored in an old trunk for decades, and was moved into cardboard beer boxes by the time it came to me. Gradually, I moved the letters, photos, newspapers, and documents into archival storage boxes and started scanning individual items.

    Then, another relative passed away and their treasures came home with me.

    And another.

    And another.

    Along the way I've picked up a few tips that have helped me keep my sanity and keep things organized. The biggest lesson learned is certainly 

    Maintain Order in the Archive -- keep collections together and avoid orphan heirlooms.

    I will be sharing some of my favorite tips and photos from my own inherited treasures at Sunday's presentation. Sign up here to join in from home, and feel free to come back and leave any comments or questions.

    Thursday
    May302013

    Aprons from Auntie's Hope Chest for Treasure Chest Thursday

    Easy pie apron

    It's "Easy as Pie" to see that these handmade vintage aprons were made to be admired. My aunt received nearly two dozen aprons for her wedding shower in 1958 and carefully packed them away in her cedar hope chest with the hand-embroidered pillowcases, sheets, and towels. When my sister and I opened the chest two years ago, everything was still in the original paper but marked with the folds of time.

    These two aprons are my favorites. "Easy as Pie" is made with a printed kitchen towel as the center panel design surrounded by cheery yellow cotton. "Flower Garden" (on the right) is made by joining crocheted flowers to form a colorful border around a plain mesh dishcloth. The flower pocket adds another splash of color.

    Of course, sometimes a new bride wants to look frilly and pretty. That's when she brings out the nylon and lace aprons:

    Nylon lace apron

    Pink nylon (now turned brown with age) adds a pretty touch to the pink floral cotton. The lavender nylon and lace would look dainty over a plain dress or skirt.

    And, when there's work to do, the 1950's woman will turn to practical attire like these simple cotton aprons:

    Work aprons

    It's unfortunate that the cotton discolored with time, but both the flower print and blue check would have been cheery and washable coverings for everyday housework and cooking. It (almost) makes me want to wash the dishes!

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