Wednesday, October 3, 2012

21COFH - Family Papers - Week 40

Previously we have worked extensively with our family photos. This week we are going to begin looking at family papers. Remember the Project Notebook we set up way back in week 14? We will be adding to it.

This week we will take inventory of our family papers. Note: you may have done this in the week 5 project where we inventoried our photographs. If you did, then this week will be an easy one! At any rate the instructions are very similar to the photo inventory.

The level of detail for this activity should depend upon the time you have available this week and the extent of your physical collection of papers. It’s better to have a very general, short inventory than none at all!

Suggested steps to follow:

1. Move in an organized, methodical fashion. One suggestion is to go room by room, moving clockwise around the room.

2. Note each box, album (or groups of), pile or other unit of storage. You could describe the box (red shoe box) or you could number your boxes.

3. When looking at the contents, make note of:

a.    General provenance – who’s papers were they, how did they come to be in your possession? If there is any additional background, this is a good time to note it.

b.    Surname(s) included in the box.

c.    General time frame and subject matter.

d.    Format, size ranges and quantity. This will be helpful if you need to order archival storage supplies.

e.     Note concerns and items needing attention, rescue, or other triage such as folded brittle papers.

f.     Other items such as address books, heirloom items, etc. Often when someone’s home gets packed up, different types of objects get tossed together in the same box.

g.     Anything else you consider important.

4. If you have a lot of papers, you might want to move boxes to your work area as you inventory and then return them to their original location.

5. Please remember, if you remove items from boxes, it’s important to keep things in their original order.

After completing the inventory, you will be more familiar with your collection. Write a paragraph generally describing the collection and keep it with the inventory. Consider including:

· When and who you received the papers from.

· If there were previous owners or other history, mention it.

· Where the collection is located now.

· Size of the collection.

· Mini collections within your overall collection.
Tell us about your inventory experience, the format you used and, if you want, share your paragraph. You can do so either in the comments or a post of your own (be sure to leave the url in the comments).

Good luck and remember to keep this project to what you can complete this week.
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© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum

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