It’s confession time. I have a MAJOR holiday regret: I “coulda / shoulda / woulda,” but I didn’t.
And now I can’t.
I’m talking about learning more about my family history as recorded in all those hundreds—if not thousands—of family photo albums, snapshots, and scrapbooks that are part of the family archive I inherited when my dad died a number of years ago (my mother was already deceased).
I sort of knew, all along, that I wanted to sit down with my dad (above, left) and go through many of his own father’s old photo albums (above, right) and let him “fill in the blanks” with regard to who’s who in these old family treasures.
Now its too late. These people are all strangers to me, and forever will be. I won’t know who the smiling people are in these photographs, who this friend or that relative was, and what their lives and connections looked like.
It breaks my heart. And it’s my own fault.
So, rather than taking up valuable blog real estate talking about all the many ways you can archivally store and present your own cherished photographs, genealogical records, or irreplaceable artifacts from your family archive (please click here if you do want that information), I’ll instead share this important holiday wish:
Share Your Family Archive!
Many of us will get together with family for Christmas / Hanukkah / Kwanzaa and the other festive moments to be celebrated over the next few weeks. Please take out your old photographs and family snapshot albums and discuss them with your parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, in-laws, even your kids. The memories, laughter and genuine interest shared will be the most precious gift you can offer (and receive!) this holiday season.
Take the time to celebrate the present and the future by looking into the past and sharing it with those who lived it. I would also recommend writing down quick notes (in pencil, on acid-free archival paper of course) on who’s who and what’s what, and then keeping these brief notes with your old photos and albums—someday you’ll be VERY glad you did!
I can guarantee you that everyone will leave with a greater appreciation of family and a deeper sense of connection, and nothing could be more fulfilling and cherished than that.
Our fondest wishes for a safe, joyous and peaceful holiday season to everyone…
…from all of us at Archival Methods.