Archives Month 2015

Interested in archives, but don’t know where to begin? Are you a family historian who has found limitations to online sources and want to delve deeper? Take a look at these guest posts at the blog on

4 Things to Know Before You Visit an Archive – Want to visit an archive, but don’t know what to expect? Read this post to learn more.

Archives Month: Searching by Context – Too often, researchers are too specific when they begin their search. Learn how using a contextual approach can aid your research.

Archives Month: Anatomy of a Finding Aid – What is a finding aid, how do I read one, and how can it help me?

4 thoughts on “Archives Month 2015

  1. Hi Linda — yeah I do check time to time to see what’s doing here. I have a question and was going to e-mail but maybe it might fit in with talking about archives. My idea might sound a bit strange, but here goes:

    I’m working on preparing some documents, not family history, though, just some of my own thoughts and other stuff I thought I’d like to put somewhere —– just in case some curious person in the future might find it (told you it was strange!). I’m just not sure where might be a good “home.” I’ve thought about leaving it with a young relative (I don’t have kids). I may also leave another copy elsewhere. Might some library, or some other institution even accept something like this?

    Any thoughts would be quite helpful – and thanks!

    • Mollie – Thanks for your question. If you mean by “preparing some documents” – do you mean, something like a memoir or your own personal diary or journal, something like that? “Mollie’s thoughts on life in the 21st century?” If you’re talking about something along those lines, then I’d say it would be worth considering contacting an “appropriate repository” to see if they’d be interested. What is an “appropriate repository?” Well, it depends on all of the details – the subject matter written about in these documents, any personal affiliations you might have, etc. Examples: your college alma mater – their archives or special collections department (I’d recommend contacting the archives directly, not the alumni association); any professional organizations you might belong to (if these documents relate to that); a geographically related repository – like if you’ve lived in Ohio your whole life, or most of it, and these documents can be considered to be an Ohioan’s point of view on things – then the state historical society or state archives might be appropriate (each state and their organizations are different, though, so this requires some investigation). And so on. If the “documents” are primarily about certain topics – say, baseball – or the criminal justice system – or whatever — chances are good that there are one or many institutions out there – many times, part of a university – that focus on these collecting areas. Take a look at this brochure from the Society of American Archivists about donating your personal papers to an archives for more information. Or check out some of their other brochures.

      • Hi Linda –

        Thanks so much for replying. Your thoughts are also very helpful! What I’m doing is more along the line of a topical “cache”, so I definitely will be checking out those brochures. I will probably also give a copy to one of my young relatives, and of course keep a copy here for myself. It’s been a bit more of a project than I thought, but I’ve been learning a lot and that’s been enjoyable.

        Appreciate your help and hope you have a wonderful 2016!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *