Weekly Planner: Start a Preservation Project

memorabilia.jpgDo your loved ones know the significance of items you would like preserved for posterity? Are they aware that that bundle of yellowed letters you have stashed away are letters your grandfather wrote home while he was away? Or that that those crumbly old recipes sticking out of that old cookbook belonged to your great-grandmother? Do they know that the old stack of postcards in the closet contain correspondence from a special uncle, or that a favorite aunt made the sampler in the dining room drawer as a wedding gift? Take the time to not only make sure these items are preserved in a safe environment, but also that their significance is noted so that it won’t end up in the trash or on the table at a yard sale some day.

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11 thoughts on “Weekly Planner: Start a Preservation Project

  1. When I clicked for a printer friendly version, the message was that it was not available.

    May I use this in my Introduction to Family History Class? (I am, of course, not being paid).

    I thought that the Personal Historian software might be a way to make these notations on the relics in my home, but Personal Ancestral File or any other program that has the notes feature might also serve. I plan to use a digital camera to accompany my comments.

  2. I could not agree more. With no children of my own, I worry about will happen to the items I cherish from my family. I filed a list of some things with my will. Digital pictures are also helpful. On the top of my list are all the letters my parents wrote to each other when my Dad served his country in WW II. He landed on D-Day at Utah Beach and while most of the contents are about how much they missed each other, they are still fascinating to read. Since both my parents are gone now, what a wonderful treasure to save for my nieces and nephews and their children.

  3. That’s a tough call. Sometimes stuff is just that – stuff – and what we treasure sometimes isn’t looked at like that. You have to find someone in the family who is a kindred soul and make sure they know about what you want saved.

  4. I feel that knowing a little about the history of an item makes it much more interesting. So, I not only identify pictures, but many of my old dishes, vases and other items have a note inside or on the back showing where and when I got the item and sometimes include my memories of a special piece. I hope this makes things much more special for my children and grandchildren.

  5. I would share that when one is faced with a task of sorting or cleaning out the effects of a dear departed, it is necessary to go very slow and thoughfully. It is better to preserve than to destroy. It is better to save for a later time a difficult task that is best done on a clear sunny day. Mistakes made in sorrow that are irretrievable, haunt a genealogist for many years.

  6. My mother-in-law left little 2″ x 2″ notes with or inside her special treasures stating when and where the treasure had come from. As such tiny notes could be easily lost I set each item beside a chalk board easel on which I wrote what its note said. I then took a digital picture of the item, erased the board and started over with the next item. Now, even if the notes are lost I have the printed pictures and text as well as a CD and computer file on the items.

  7. Yes, Looking around my house, in drawers and hangings on the wall I often wonder what was going to happen to some of the “things”. I decided to give some of them to the persons I would like them to have with a story of how and when I aquired them in four years when I turn 70. Now I am wondering if that will work so I have set out to mark the bottoms of items or tag each piece with a folder label and then writing it all down on paper and placing the paper in my little metal box for safe keeping, I believe those who will receive will cherish as I have.

  8. I had a talk with my youngest son the other day about the things his dad and I have all over three levels of our house. He said He can’t even think about all of it without crying. He doesn’t know what to do with all of it if something happens to us. I told him that if he would help me we would go over all of it, make notes on it, and pack it carefully in boxes. I have several pieces of blue willow china. It means a lot to me because of the book BLUE WILLOW that my second grade teacher had read to us at story time in school. It was written about and around the area we lived in, in the San Joaquin Valley, Ca. I spent the rest of my time growing up looking for the BOOK.I never found it until we moved to Wallace, ID. Here a man in our church went on line and found it for me. My children have helped me over the years to collect odd pieces and I have quite a few. Those I will divide between them all. I have five children and all of them want some of it so I do know where that will be going. The book is still in print for about $6.00. I also have the very first secret pal gift that was given to me in the first church where we attended. My wedding cake dolls have already been given to the oldest daughter and my wedding rings have been given to the youngest daughter. And so I am getting excited about doing all of the rest of my treasures.

  9. I am looking for information on the oldest wedding cake that exists, as I have a replica of our wedding cake, still in my cedar chest. we were married in 1953. the day before our 50th wedding anniversary I told it out and the frosting was almost a gold color. at the party I brought it and showed the people. Thank you for your help.
    Clairette Berard

  10. good article. I would like to add that taking pictures of various objects and attaching a written note card with as much information as you have. If the obeject is special for family reasons, expencive monilarily it woulf be better to write them down now

  11. My mother had a white glass platter that her grandmother had given her. I was about 14 and doing the dishes. Because I didn’t know how special this tray was, I broke it.

    Her grandmother was about 100 years old and I remember her. I was nine when she died.

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