It’s Official — Spring has arrived, and warmer weather will soon be here. In Southern California, it’s time to open the windows and air out the house. . . which gave me the idea for a little Genealogy Spring Cleaning. The focus is on the family archive – boxes of documents and photos, and various artifacts. Here is my checklist for the week, with no heavy lifting required.
If you want to join the cleaning crew, give an update on your progress at your blog or on Twitter #genspringclean or Facebook so other genealogy bloggers can read it. Happy Spring!
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.
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.
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.
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 Family ChArtist offers beautiful artwork to enhance your custom family trees charts. Show your blog readers your new design.
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.