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A Genealogist In The Archives: September 2019

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

5 Steps to Preserving a Scrapbook

Scrapbooks are a genealogists gold mine! If you ask anyone that knows me, they will tell you that my favorite record collection to do research in and to process in the archive is Scrapbooks!

Scrapbooks are like time capsules, nobody knows what will be found in them until they are opened. There are all kinds and styles of scrapbooks from newspaper clippings, obituary, diary, sports teams, personal history and many more.

Donated Scrapbooks, Houston County, TN. Archives

Maybe you have some scrapbooks that have been inherited from family members. Are they falling apart? Are the contents falling out? Scrapbooks are usually one of those record sources that are handled a lot over time because they are so interesting.

Preserving scrapbooks is actually fairly easy and any home archivist can do it. Here are 5 easy steps:

1. Digitize each and every page of the scrapbook. You can use a flat bed scanner or you can use your digital camera. Do not use any kind of self-feeding scanner or a hand held scanner, they can potentially damage the pages or the items pasted to the pages.Make sure to digitize the scrapbook in original order from the first page to the last page.

2. Purchase archival tissue paper. Get a size that is about 1/4" to 1/2" larger than the scrapbook page. You want to make sure the tissue paper covers the entire page but there is not too much excess. You can cut the tissue paper to size if needed.

3. Interweave the tissue paper in-between each and every page of the scrapbook. The tissue paper will act as a shield to protect anything on the pages from bleeding onto or damaging the other page.

Archival Tissue Paper in the Scrapbook, Houston County, TN. Archives

4. Purchase an archival box that is as close to the size of the scrapbook as possible. Put the scrapbook in the box. If there is still room in the box and the scrapbook is sliding around, crumple up archival tissue paper and tuck it around the scrapbook to secure it in place so that it doesn't move.

Scrapbook in an Archival Box, Houston County, TN. Archives

5. Label the box with information about the scrapbook. For instance, "World War II Scrapbook, Belonged to John Jones, 1941-1945". Store in a cool, dry and dark place. Keep away from sunlight and handle the scrapbook as least as possible. Consult with the digital images as much as possible so that damage is not done to the original scrapbook.
    These 5 easy steps to preserve scrapbooks will insure they will survive for many years to come.



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    Saturday, September 7, 2019

    GenFriends Talk Ancestor's Occupation

    This past Monday, September 2, 2019, was Labor Day here in the United States. This is a federal holiday that pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. This holiday is traditionally celebrated on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894.

    W.L. Cary Motor Co., Erin, Tenn. 1948, Houston County, TN. Archives

    Many may not know that Canada also celebrated their own version of Labor Day this past Monday. The origins of their Labor Day can be traced back to April 15, 1872 when the Toronto Trades Assembly organized Canada's first significant demonstration for worker's rights. Canada's Labor Day was originally celebrated in the Spring but it was moved to the fall in 1894.

    I was pleased to be a part of a very special GenFriends Monday night where two Americans (Cheri Hudson Passey and Myself) and two Canadians (Kathryn Lake Hogan and Christine Woodcock) came together virtually to talk about Labor Day and our ancestor's occupations.

    You can view the GenFriends episode at this link on YouTube:

    We talked about why genealogists should be researching their ancestor's occupations, where to find occupational records and we shared our own ancestor's occupations.

    Cheri Hudson Passey, who leads GenFriends, blogs about our GenFriends episodes and includes all the show notes and links, you can see her blog over at Carolina Girl Genealogy Blog:

    So, if you haven't considered researching your ancestor's occupation, check out this GenFriends episode and get some great tips!

    Remember: It's Not All Online! Contact or Visit an Archive Today!


    Legacy Family Tree Webinars by Melissa Barker

    Researching in Libraries and Archives: The Do's and Don'ts

    It's Not All Online: Researching in Archives

    Using Archives to Fill the Gaps in Your Ancestor's Timeline