Levenick, Denise May. How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records. Family Tree Books. 2012. 208p. ISBN 978-1-4403-2223-5. $24.99.
For several years, I’ve subscribed to the Family Curator blog by Denise Levenick, read articles she’s written and even attended a presentation she did at Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in 2012. Her enthusiasm for preserving family papers, artifacts, and photos is contagious. Plus, she has the knowledge to tell us how to successfully do it.
This comes across in her recent book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn how to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records, as she explains how to plan, prepare, and implement a well-managed family archive. People who use this book to tackle their own collections will gain confidence to make decisions about the purpose, nature and scope of their own family archives.
The book consists of three primary parts:
Part 1. “I Inherited Grandma’s stuff, Now What?” leads you through a soul-searching planning process to define goals, set parameters, identify storage solutions, and prepare for the future. This process helps you focus and shape your assorted collection(s) into a family archive. Overall, this is Levenick’s finest section since it emphasizes planning and thinking ahead.
Part 2. “Break the Paper Habit” delivers strategies for organizing and digitizing materials that can be preserved, shared with others, or accessed for writing and other creative projects. The sample workflows will get—and keep—your family archive organized, scanned, identified and accessible. Technical information, such as scanning specifications, is presented clearly.
Part 3.“Root Your Research in Strategies for Success” provides a handy toolkit of research methodologies, various software programs, citation options, and social media resources—all in the context of genealogical research and with lots of links to explore.
Anyone who is struggling to live with and manage collections of family papers, photos, and miscellany will appreciate this book and the advice it contains. Public libraries will find it a welcome addition to their family history and digital photography collections. My own copy of Levenick’s How to Archive Family Keepsakes is well-thumbed as I organize and digitize over 80 years of my parents' memorabilia.
How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn how to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records is available in several formats/editions at online vendors and public libraries. As a reviewer, my role is to evaluate a book in context of works by the author by searching for other editions and books. Surprisingly, I found that in addition to the expected eBook and paper formats, the three parts (listed above) of this book were extracted into individual books and sold separately under different titles.
“I Inherited Grandma’s stuff, Now What?” is sold as How to Organize Inherited Items at amazon.com ($7.99, Kindle) and at ShopFamilyTree.com ($9.99, pdf download)
The “Break the Paper Habit” section is sold as How to Organize Family History Paperwork at amazon.com ($7.99, Kindle) and at ShopFamilyTree.com ($9.99, pdf download)
“Root Your Research in Strategies for Success” is sold as Organization Strategies for Genealogy Success at amazon.com ($7.99, Kindle) and at ShopFamilyTree.com ($9.99, pdf download)
Just to be sure, I compared How to Organize Family History Paperwork with part 2 in How to Archive Family Keepsakes and found them to be identical. At the end of How to Organize Family History Paperwork there is also an explanatory statement that it had been extracted from How to Archive Family Keepsakes. I wish that statement had been included in the promotional blurbs I read.
My recommendation for How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn how to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Record is it is outstanding and you will repeatedly refer to all three sections to answer questions. You cannot go wrong with this choice. If you’re absolutely only interested in one of the extracted titles, you will still (mostly) get your money’s worth.