Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sorting Saturday: Better Than a Day at the Library

Over the summer, I've been going through my personal archives, i.e., boxes of long forgotten Stuff. Yes, so much Stuff that it's worthy of a capital S. I've been quite shocked at the genealogical treasure trove that has been sitting right under my nose for nearly 25 years.

While I've spent the last four or five years scouring,,,, NARA, and - I'd lost sight of just how much information I had gathered back in 1988, pre-internet. This is just one box of goodies that I salvaged from my much too humid basement. These had been stored in a cardboard box and I put everything in this plastic container on a temporary basis. I am STILL waiting for the acid free storage boxes that I ordered back in March that are still on back order.

For now, I've been letting things air out a bit and at least most of the musty smell has gone away.

To say that I was giddy as I briefly took a look at what is here would be an understatement. Sitting before me are original newspaper clippings saved by my grandmother, an entire issue of the February 16, 1927 edition of the Greenwood Gazette (Greenwood, Nebraska), which probably includes a reference to the birth of my mother on February 8 of that year, posters for auctions of my great-grandfather's stock, flyers for auctions when my grandfather was an auctioneer, obituaries for my father's grandparents, and correspondence between myself and two other distant cousins who were researching collateral lines. How smart of me to have kept a carbon-copy (remember carbon copies?) of my side of the correspondence.

Kelly Family Crest
Mom's Family
This hung in the wall of our home for many years.

I don't even know where to begin with everything. I recall at least a couple bloggers who wrote recent posts about cataloging and tracking your personal collection, so I will have to read those for some advice. Until I'm actually ready to begin sorting, filing and cataloging, I plan to do some scanning. And see what lost pieces of information that I can add to my tree on Ancestry.

I'm also guessing that I've probably got enough material here for at least another 500 blog posts! Please, could someone clone me?


  1. LOL, I can totally relate. I went through a box the other day and found stuff from my grandmother that I did not remember ever seeing. I'm sure I have just didn't remember it. It was all new to me again and very exciting.

    Learned my lesson to try and get organized because I know I have info hidden around the house that will help me.

    Oh, if only we could be cloned. I'd have a genealogy clone who would do all the scanning and data entry so I could do the fun research.

  2. What a coincidence. This weekend, I remembered a box of papers from my grandmother - put away soemwhere for safekeeping.

    The difference is, you found yours and I haven't. Yet.

    Dee, from Shakin' the Family Tree

  3. I agree with what Tina says - I can totally relate. In looking for something that I knew I had in order to write a blog post, I came across all the other great "stuff" I have, not organized.

    I need to get some archival boxes and put all these wonderful things away in an organized manner so I can find them easily when I want to!

  4. I have been organizing and cataloging my collection for months. It takes time, but I am so thankful that I am doing it. When I needed to find something the other day for a cousin, I looked at my catalog and was able to go right to the correct box and there it was! Much better than the "digging through all the piles 'cuz I know it is here somewhere" of a few years ago.

    I see from the picture you have lots of yellowing newspaper articles. If you have not already, I recommend transcribing all of them and also filing the transcriptions. Newspaper of old is falling apart and our newspaper of today has much less rag in it - so it is falling apart even faster.

    Enjoyed visiting your blog.

  5. Ahh, a kindred spirit! I am slowly organizing my archives and ot is definitly making a difference in my ability to find and use said Stuff!