One Author's Life

Family Archives: Getting Started, Part II

February 27, 2013

You have boxes and boxes of family documents, photographs, and other memorabilia. You'd like to do a family history but you don't know where to start. The first step, as I wrote in my previous post, is to properly store the material in archival-quality boxes. At least, you'll be keeping it safe for another generation. The second step, if you have the time and inclination, would be to label the boxes (and the contents, if you are able). The sad truth is that unlabeled treasures often end up, eventually, in a landfill. Remember that some day, someone in your family will have to figure out what to do with your worldly possessions. If it's not obvious that a certain box on a particular shelf in a specific closet contains great-grandpa's World War I records, it could end up in the trash. The more stuff you have, the more likely this is to happen. A few hours spent labeling what's important will be a contribution to the next generation.