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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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    Entries in gen spring cleaning (6)

    Saturday
    Mar272010

    Genealogy Spring Cleaning Review

    It’s been a busy week, airing out the archives, shaking the figurative relatives’ rugs, and washing the windows squeaky-clean.

    Michelle Goodrum at The Turning of Generations was busy with Spring Cleaning this week. She wrote about storing vintage dolls in archival boxes,  finding a terrific old drugstore photograph, and organizing her home archive. She is working diligently at getting her family treasures in order, and I can’t wait to see what she turns up next.

    Now, it’s time to get back to research and writing, and maybe even a bit of Sunday Scanning, so dubbed by Kelly at Family History Fun. The Spring Cleaning theme has also inspired her to color-code her genealogy files and work on new ways to stay organized.

    So, enough of Spring Cleaning. I like the idea of Sunday Scanning and Transcript Tuesday. Back to the Archives for some treasure hunting.

    Friday
    Mar262010

    Genealogy Spring Cleaning - Fresh Flowers for the Desk

    It feels nice to bring a bit of springtime inside to my desk.

    I’ve tidied the bulletin board to show off a few favorite snapshots and brought in a bunch of fresh freesias to fill Grandmother Arline’s dainty cream pitcher. I like using my mother-in-law’s German stork scissors, although they are not really practical for paper and general cutting. And, I enjoy the pretty cut glass and silver candy dish repurposed for paper clips. The desk mouse does duty as originally intended, holding notes and the all-important daily ToDo List. All these things came my way from their original owners; thank you, ladies!

    The corkboard above my desk is the perfect place to catch my baby grandson’s smile, along with a photo from a visit East last autumn. The other pictures were snapped between storms in Vermont, further north than my ancestors’ homes in Windsor and Rutland Counties. In a bit of serendipitous good fortune, I found the small pennants in an antique store in New York, a few years after visiting both Rutland and Montpelier; they were a kind of delayed souvenir.

    Of course, I also have a copy of the latest Blogger’s Almanac, urging me to pull out the keyboard and “Write!” Now that my workspace is a bit more inviting, I just might do that!

    The last day of my week long checklist of spring cleaning tasks for my genealogy archives. Follow #genspringclean on Twitter, and share your updates too.

    Friday – Bring in a bouquet of fresh flowers.

    Clear off your desk and give your genealogy workspace a place to display a framed ancestor photograph or treasure. Some family treasures are best used and enjoyed. Can you repurpose your grandmother’s ironstone pitcher as a flower vase or pencil cup for your desk? Write a post about any family artifacts you see or use daily. Be sure to give a statement of provenance telling who owned it and how it came in your possession.

    Thursday
    Mar252010

    Genealogy Spring Cleaning - Wash the Windows

    Instead of sharing a new and original family tree, I am sharing an old yet lovely rendition by my Great Aunt, Mercy Kinsel MacPhee, sister to Arline. Mercy was at the center of a sensational missing-persons case and later found quite happily married to Scotsman Angus MacPhee.

    Mercy had a keen interest in the family genealogy and was also an accomplished artist. When her eldest  niece graduated from high school, Mercy presented Lucile with a hand-written and illustrated genealogy. Although I have not confirmed all of the names, dates, and places, many are proving to be sound conclusions. It will be hard to top Aunt Mercy's beautiful illustrations with my own version of our family tree.

    This is the fourth day of my week long checklist of spring cleaning tasks for my genealogy archives. Follow #genspringclean on Twitter, and share your updates too.\

     Thursday— Wash the windows ‘til they shine.

    What do you show your relatives when they want to see the family tree? Spruce up your pedigree chart and give it a fresh new look. RootsMagic4 and LegacyFamilyTree offer several different charts, and GenerationMaps new online ChArtist offers  beautiful artwork to enhance your custom family trees charts. Show your blog readers your new design.

    Wednesday
    Mar242010

    Wordless Wednesday (not really): Genealogy Spring Cleaning, Repair or Restore

    This photograph from the Arline Allen Kinsel Archives haunts me. The inscription on the back notes that is a photo of my grandfather, Francis Ammi Brown with his second grade class in Olathe, Kansas. The broken pieces of the image speak of the many hands that have touched this image. I don’t know exactly which school this might have been, or the names of my grandfather’s classmates.

    Perhaps, the photo can be digitally restored and some of the lost information recovered. It would be wonderful to know the name of the school. I am moving this photograph to the Number One position on my list of photo restoration projects.

    The  third day of my week long checklist of spring cleaning tasks for my genealogy archives. Follow #genspringclean on Twitter, and share your updates too.

    Wednesday – Repair or restore damaged items.

    Archivists and doctors have the same rule: “Do no harm,” but torn documents and damaged photos can be repaired with digital restoration. Scan damaged items and make a note to send out for restoration or to do it yourself. Evaluate broken artifacts such as china, picture frames, or textiles. If you intend to have the item repaired, place all fragments in an archival box or tissue, or wrap in a clean cotton pillowcase. If you don’t plan to repair the damage, decide if you really want to keep the piece. Maybe a photograph would serve as well. Write about the item and why it is special to you or someone in your family.

    

    Tuesday
    Mar232010

    Genealogy Spring Cleaning - Shake Out the Rugs

    This is the second day of my week long checklist of spring cleaning tasks for my genealogy archives. Follow #genspringclean on Twitter, and share your updates too.

    Tuesday – Shake the rugs for dust and lost things.

    We once found a long-lost wedding band hidden in the depths of a flokati rug. Family documents, photos, and treasures have a way of drifting around a house when they are pulled out to show a relative or to be examined more closely. Gather together any items that have misplaced and return to their archival home. Add any others discovered in the search. Photograph or scan any newly found items to share.

    A tour of my house showed me just how many things get out of place, and it’s not just socks and umbrellas. Today I pulled out my jewelry drawer and right there, nestled against my favorite strand of pearls was an old-fashioned gold-rimmed brooch with a photo of Aunt Lucile. I enjoy it too much to pack it away in tissue with all the little personal tidbits from Grandma Arline’s trunk. Each time I open my bureau drawer, Aunt Lucy, smiles “Hello” and encourages my efforts to tell Grandma’s story.

    So what can I do to insure that the brooch isn’t misplaced?

    I am taking a photo of the brooch and writing a little “heirloom history.”  I don’t know much about it, just that I found the pin with my grandmother’s things and that I recognize the photo as Aunt Lucy at a very young age.

    I will print out a copy of the photo and caption and place it inside Arline’s box of personal artifacts. I am also printing a copy to place in the bottom of the drawer where the pin now lives. Hopefully, if something were to happen to me, whoever cleaned out the drawer would find pin and history and know this was a very special item.

    Monday
    Mar222010

    Genealogy Spring Cleaning - Air Out the Archives

    This is part of my week long checklist of spring cleaning tasks for my genealogy archives. Follow #genspringclean on Twitter, and share your updates too.

    Monday – Air out the archives.

    Open storage closet and remove all archival boxes to check for damp, mildew, or any signs of moisture. Consolidate storage materials as much as possible. Inventory contents of closet and keep with genealogy files; include a snapshot of the storage closet. Write a blog post about how you started your family archive, and where you keep everything. Post the photo of your family archive.

    My archives certainly were in need of a visit. When I “founded” the archive in 2007 my main interest was preservation. Little by little I have ordered enough archival storage boxes to house the entire collection. I now have two very full cupboards containing most of the boxes, but the overflow is scattered in other locations. Today I brought everything together and made an inventory. I also placed a tempoary label on each box.

    My next project will be to group similar items together and inventory the contents of each box. Here is my preliminary inventory:

    1 box large documents, certificates
    1 box financial papers, bank passbooks
    1 box large photographs
    1 box cabinet cards, snapshots
    1 box rolled group photos, Photograph Album, 1915-1916
    1 box negatives
    1 large box newspapers
    1 box newspaper clippings
    1 box postcards
    1 box personal artifacts, locks of hair
    1 box misc. greeting cards
    6 boxes personal correspondence
    1 box genealogical correspondence

    I first wrote about starting the Arline Allen Kinsel Papers Archive in Setting Up the System. This has been an evolving project, becoming more organized as I grow more familiar with the material.