Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leaving your legacy

Is it just me or have the rest of you noticed a sudden interest in what happens to our research after we leave this earth? I read two blogs regularly and ran across related articles in both of them today. In Eastman's Online Newsletter today was an article titled "From the In-box: What to do with Collected Data" (, which basically asked for readers' suggestions on how to handle our collected genealogy research materials. It generated a large number of responses. Then on Michael John Neill's was "Cleaning Mother's House" (, a purportedly fictional account of one family's handling of the deceased mother's research. I suspect I'll be having nightmares from that one!
Both articles got me thinking about the role SGS should be playing in helping our members (and others) make their research available to others who might benefit from our research in the future. Right now we have at least 20 to 30 boxes of member's research files stacked in our storage area. Our Library Trustees have recommended creating a Director of Archives position and making part of the library into a genelaogical archive. At the present time, we have neither the space nor the funds needed to do this. Should we be weeding our book collection to make space for an archives area? Should we be madly fundraising so that we could move into a larger space? Which is more important to you--a library or genealogy archives? Please cast your vote at right and leave your comments below. Thank you!


  1. Great questions! I think a great first step is creating a finding aid so that others know what is in donated research collections. Does SGS have any kind of finding aid for the 20-30 boxes? I noticed a surname index on the website but not any detailed finding aids. I worked on a project like this and really enjoyed doing it.
    -Amber Brock

  2. I am lucky in that one of my sons has taken a true interest in family history so I feel relieved that everything will pass into good hands.

  3. I'm certain that there are some resources in the library that could be disposed of without adversely affecting the library quality, but I'm not sure that there are enough resources like that to offset the additional space needed. I think its time for more space.