I only have two words for myself. . .
I haven’t made a post in over two months!!!! My current schedule has prevented me from blogging at the consistency that I established in the past, and I feel some type of way about that. While I certainly don’t want to continue this behavior, I have a pretty good reason why my schedule has become hectic. . .
I’m engaged!! It happened over the holidays. My then-boyfriend (now fiancé) proposed to me at the Roswell Mill, a local historic site close to the church where we met. It was magical. It was beautiful. It was all the feels. And I ugly cried (Note: I’m too embarrassed to show my ugly cry photo on this blog, so you’ll have to enjoy the one I’ve provided below). 😊
Now that I am planning a wedding – which I have to admit, isn’t as fun as people make it seem – I’m noticing an ever-increasing collection of wedding-related records taking over my closet. Magazines, contracts, advertisements, binders, bridal show tickets, brochures, photos, etc. are pouring in way faster than I expected. Every time I attend an event or check an item off my wedding to-do list, somehow I end up with a new record documenting the experience. Although it’s getting a bit overwhelming in terms of space, I am very excited by this new collection of records that is helping to tell a big part of my life story.
Now, let’s get real for a minute. Archivists are notorious for failing to properly archive their own stuff. Yes, yes, it’s true. We can archive everyone else’s materials, but when it comes to our own lives, we sometimes get a little lax. I am certainly guilty of this, but I’ve made a decision that with my wedding records, I am going to do better. Here’s the strategy I’ve created for myself:
- Organically collect materials and keep them in the same place. Don’t worry too much about the order at this point; just make sure you have a stable location for the records.
- Once the wedding is over and you’ve gotten settled, begin going through your collection of wedding records and conduct appraisal. For archivists, “appraisal” is not referring to money. It is referring to the long-term value of records.
- Once you’ve conducted appraisal, properly dispose of records that you don’t want and rehouse the records that you do want. “Rehouse” means place them in a new form of housing, such as boxes and folders.
- If you have the time and energy, conduct an inventory of the materials that you have before putting them in storage with stable temperature and humidity. You’ll thank yourself later.
- Periodically check on the records a few times a year to make sure their condition isn’t deteriorating too fast.
- For specialty items (like your wedding dress), seek preservation advice from local conservators and/or other archival professionals.
As you may notice, I’m not requiring myself to archive my own records at a professional level. I don’t have the time or money to do that in my personal life. I am, however, going to do something. That’s all you have to do! Just do something to preserve your special records, and you’ll be surprised at how far a little effort goes.
What are some of your strategies for personal archiving???