ArchivesInfo Press Announces New Book to Help Individuals Pass Down a Legacy

How will people remember you when you are gone? How do you want to be remembered? ArchivesInfo announces the release of a new book to help you thoughtfully create and maintain recorded information that describes your life and helps mold your legacy.
By: Melissa Mannon
Oct. 3, 2011 - PRLog -- According to author Melissa Mannon, “Many irreplaceable materials that help tell individual stories, and the stories of our neighborhoods, are deteriorating among our personal belongings." With that caution in mind, "The Unofficial Family Archivist" focuses on the care of personal papers, photographs, and memorabilia found in the typical home. It is written for people who want to protect family history. Mannon states, “the goal is to help you create, gather, and maintain a valuable family and community resource from the unique point of view of you and your loved ones.”

A professional archivist, Mannon says that anyone can apply the concepts necessary to best illuminate one’s life story. Her focus is on helping people identify and care for the written documents, photographs, memorabilia and digital files that reflect one’s lifestyle and viewpoint. “Creating a ‘personal archive’ should be a pleasurable and rewarding experience. I offer the professional concepts necessary to properly organize, describe and preserve materials, but the book is really intended to break through jargon and demystify archives. This book helps you to have fun thinking about your life and what you want to leave for the next generation.”

"The Unofficial Family Archivist" is organized into eight sections that discuss preservation; creating and identifying materials that represent you; how to properly organize, preserve, and describe printed and digital documents; and how to prepare them to pass on to future generations. Each chapter is followed by a list of questions to help the reader better apply the concepts introduced in the previous section.

The book is peppered with photographs and sample personal and community collections. Mannon shares her professional knowledge and makes it approachable with personal stories that often include a touch of humor. For example, she shares the story of her four-year-old niece who leaves messages on her answering machine that say, “Hello? Helloooo! HELLOOO!! Hello?” Wishing to remember how she laughs when she hears the little voice, Mannon discusses the desirability of saving a recording of it.

As food for thought, Mannon notes, “in this fast paced era there is an abundance of information. Some professionals have said that we are living in a new Dark Age. We are moving away from recorded data that we can hold in our hand and see with our naked eye in favor of digital documents. If we don’t take the time to think about how we will save this information for the future, it will disappear.” "The Unofficial Archivist" discusses how we can ensure that what is important to us is saved for our lifetime and for our descendants with only a moderate amount of effort and a little consideration.

“My consulting work began with cultural institutions,” says Mannon. “For the past thirteen years, I have helped museums, libraries and archives consider the history of their town and then work to save it.” Mannon has worked with towns such as Winchester, Massachusetts that have used her recommendations to build better collections and to make safer conditions for the preservation of historical records. She has also worked with large associations such as the Essex National Heritage Commission and served as a project consultant with the Dartmouth Local Records and Education Project, which hired experts to visit and assist towns in New Hampshire.    

In addition to consulting, Mannon runs workshops including a program called Preserving Memories that provides information to individuals with family papers about how to care for them. For the past three years, Mannon has also helped individuals on a one-to-one basis, offering her expertise by bringing her consulting services to individuals. “The records people keep in their homes are not only important to them, but also may have community significance,” says Mannon. Her latest book is an outgrowth of this work. ”It is the stories of individuals that make up a larger history. I want to help people realize that their stories are important to keep and to share with a larger family or community audience. Your own personal history matters and each person has the power to help mold his own legacy through personal archives.”

"The Unofficial Family Archivist: A guide to Creating and Maintaining Family Papers, Photographs, and Memorabilia" is due out from ArchivesInfo Press this month.

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ArchivesInfo encourages cultural heritage organizations to work collaboratively with local governments, businesses, and individuals who keep records in order to identify archives and plan for their care.
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Tags:History, Family History, Genealogy, Preservation, Records, Documents, Self-help, Organization, Photographs, Memorabilia
Industry:Lifestyle, Family
Location:Amherst - New Hampshire - United States
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