Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a safe and happy new year to all!
© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum
As you are doing these steps, it's a good idea to look at the documents to get an idea of what they are all about. The detail you wish to get into for these steps is totally up to you.This week I went with the general inventory and description. Since I will wish to work with these letters more in-depth in the future, next week I will do an item by item inventory and description. What we are doing is developing "finding aids" to help us locate things more easily in the future.
You may wish to do an item by item inventory and description. Or a more general inventory and description may suit you just fine. It depends on what you want to do with your collection long term.
These letters are from Dad's childhood and early adult years. The letters are mostly to and from friends and family with a few items regarding Naval service. The years covered are 1933 through the early 1950s.
Since I have several boxes, I decided to select Dad's correspondence from his early years through young adulthood.
When these papers originally came into my possession, I moved them from the dusty, musty boxes they had spent several decades in to the current boxes. The papers were placed in file folders (non-archival) and loosely labeled as follows. At the time, I kept things together and just moved them from the old boxes to the new:
- Correspondence 1933
- Correspondence 1937-38
- Letter to Mom 1938
- Letter to Dad 1946
- Correspondence family
- Navy correspondence
- Navy correspondence-personal
- Correspondence 1945
- Correspondence 1946
- Letter home from Illinois 1946
- Correspondence 1948
- Correspondence received 1940s-1950s
Since I'm working through Dad's correspondence, I placed each letter and envelope in it's own folder. The folders I used are thin, archival folders. Several of these can be placed inside a manilla folder.
Here's an example of the folders. For now I use sticky notes for labeling purposes until I'm ready to finalize.
NOTE: If you're working with letters and don't wish to save the envelope, it would be a good idea to make note on the letter, of the following, in pencil. Use square brackets like this[ ] to denote your comments.
Since we have had a really busy weekend, I'm going to write up my comments for this step in a separate post in the next day or two. Stay tuned...
I selected the four boxes of Dad's papers.
Since I'm pretty familiar with Dad's life, organizing has been fairly easy. Dad's early years are what I need to be careful of.
After looking through the files I had previously set up when Dad's papers came to me, I could see there were the following broad groupings:3. Arrange the papers.
The categories in bold are the ones I need to be careful of since I'm not as familiar with those portions of Dad's life and there isn't anyone around to ask. Correspondence is in bold only because most of Dad's correspondence is from the teen and early adult years.
- Community, Civic
- Real Estate
- Young Adult Years
As I did this, I made notes on the category list from above as to which box(es) each category was placed in.4. Label the box(es).
Each of the four boxes was labeled with Dad's name, his year of birth and death, and the box number.5. Write up a short description of this collection or series of papers for your project notebook.
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