One Author's Life: A Personal Blog

Family Archives: Getting Started, Part I

February 25, 2013

The good news is that your great-aunt Martha saved boxes of diaries, documents, photos and other family memorabilia. The bad news is that you don't know what to do with it all. This seems to be a common problem. Readers often ask me how to go about organizing family memorabilia into book form. Most of them are getting ahead of themselves. Organize it into a book? That's step Z in A-Z. There are many steps to take first. Yes, I know it's overwhelming. The best advice I can offer is this: just start. Start somewhere, anywhere - as long as you start! At the very least, safeguard the material for someone else who has the time and inclination to tackle the project. Buy archival-quality boxes and transfer the contents. Never store your family treasures in a basement or attic. This means sacrificing a closet in your living space, but so be it. Someday, someone will thank you.


  1. February 25, 2013 1:50 PM EST
    Oh yes, you are so right. It may not seem important now, but someday it will. I am experiencing that first hand right now with a diary that I am editing. So rich in history, even if it is not my family histor.
    - sharon hazard