The great part of getting your personal and family archives organized is that you can immediately access and use your materials to learn about your own history. Once I was able to organize my materials, using techniques discussed Creating Family Archives: How to Preserve Your Papers and Photographs, I could research my relatives much easier.
This January, I started a project of scanning, transcribing, and annotating my grandfather's love letters to my grandmother leading up to their marriage in June 1940. The letters are chronologically organized and posted in real-time so you can follow their courtship as it happened. I've also been using the letters to help me decode their photographs, and searching through my photograph collection to decipher some of the details included in the letters.
The series lead up to this date in 1940, when my grandparents got married, then honeymooned at the Jersey shore. Below are some items from my archives from that day.
It makes me a little sad to end this project. I looked forward to posting the letters in real-time, discovering the details of their lives. In some ways, the project was also a study of me. Without them, I wouldn't have had my father. And without my father, there wouldn't be me.
Catch up on the Grandpa's Love Letters series:
To learn the preservation secrets used by libraries, archives, and museums to protect their priceless materials (that you can also use for your family heritage items), read my book:
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