I love old things, and I’m passionate about preserving family keepsakes.
Are you the “keeper of your family stuff”? Does everyone seem to come to you for old family photos, stories and lost family recipes?
If you’re like me, you know that photographs, documents, and keepsakes hold proof of family relationships as well as details of family life and stories. You know that all this “stuff” sparks memories of the past and you don’t want to see your family photo albums thrown into the trash when the family home is cleaned out or sold.
Family curators have a big job with many challenges —
- what should I keep, what can I toss?
- how do I store all this stuff?
- how do I scan an Army uniform? (use a camera instead!)
- where do I store and back up digital files?
- how do I pass on the family collection?
A Blog is Born
I was a high school English teacher when I inherited my grandmother Arline’s family treasures. The Family Curator began with an honors literature course called Reading Women’s Lives. Students learned how to work with historic documents as they transcribed and analyzed over one hundred early twentieth century letters from Arline’s collection. Our project included genealogy, digitizing, cataloging, and preservation with professional methods recommended by libraries and museums adapted to create a family archive at home.
When our school project was featured at Shades of the Departed online magazine more family curators looking for archival assistance, and readers voted The Family Curator blog as one of Family Tree Magazine’s 40 Best Genealogy Blogs in 2010 and 2011.
Today I’ve exchanged my English teacher’s gradebook for a mobile slide projector, and enjoy lecturing at seminars, conferences, and institutes nationwide. Join me at an upcoming webinar or live presentation, or watch for registration at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) where I teach Heirlooms in the Digital Age.
From Blog to Books
The Family Curator blog has grown into a two books with even more ideas on creating and maintaining a family archive
How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records
How to Archive Family Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally
Thanks for Asking. . .
When I’m not writing, teaching, or researching, I enjoy knitting, quilting, and cross-stitching future keepsakes for my two grown sons and my grandsons. I love to cook, especially homemade jams and preserves.
I live in an old house in Pasadena, California with a growing archive of family keepsakes. I taught journalism and English literature at an all-girls high school in my neighborhood. Some days I walked to school like my ancestors, some days I drove my snappy red scooter.
I have roots in Kansas, Illinois, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Germany and love researching in old courthouses and town halls.
Whether you’ve inherited a trunk filled with family keepsakes or a shoebox of old letters, I hope you will find helpful ideas at The Family Curator for preserving and sharing your family treasures.
Welcome to my Family Archive