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A Hauntingly Good Time
Get your free ebook here! Also, archiving family history
OK, first thing’s first. For all of October, I’ve promised you all a free copy of my short story, Hotel Vanity, first published in the anthology Hauntings (2021).
But, is it for you? Can you handle annoying ghosts?
"I found myself further enthralled, giddy and often audibly giggling at the interactions amongst the characters."
Humphrey struggles to sell his failing hotel, but its permanent residents don't share his enthusiasm. An older gentleman with his ghostly nose stuck in an old book; a painfully crude lady with a passion for whiskey and playing with cigarette lighters; and Humphrey's own wife, who is stuck in the mirrors.
When a perspective buyer reveals a decades-long mystery involving the hotel and its inhabitants, the group must face their own fears—and each other.
And now, for the rest of the news
With the passing of my grandparents over the last couple years, I’ve been granted the privilege of documenting and cataloging our family’s history. The researcher in me is ecstatic! The ADHD in my is overwhelmed. I predict much chocolate in my future.
How do I accomplish this task without the old papers melting in my hands, or bringing down my house Indiana Jones style? Furthermore, how do I make sure I can get the most important things to safety in the event of a fire (looking at you, California)?
I made an appointment with the Placer County Archives and Research Center to find the answers. The curator there showed me some basic methods to get started, and pushed me toward more information (scroll to the end for links).
To stabilize the collection and handle it properly, I’ll need:
Nitrile, latex free gloves
Archival safe plastic sleeves, folders, and boxes (not wood or cardboard!) that are PAT certified.
Storage in a cool, dry place with consistent % humidity and temps. This should be away from walls, windows, and off the floor.
Keep newspaper clippings [and other acidic items] away from photos and documents, as the acid will break those items down.
A cataloging system, which I’m trying to come up with right now. Placer County uses a system with Year.name of collection.item number but she said I should use whatever works best for this archive of mine.
I have so many more notes to review, and will keep you all updated when my mom and I make our first attempt! She’s an expert at organizing, and is coming all the way from Oregon to give this project a head start. The Shafer and Hersey family have also graciously offered to help buy materials. In the meantime, here are a few things we’ll be preserving as best we can! Scroll down for more resources.
More information on preservation. Click on the blue text for navigation to each page.
Conserve O Grams
What are Conserve O Grams?
They are short, focused leaflets about caring for museum objects, published in loose-leaf format.New topics are added as needed and out-of-date issues are revised or deleted. Semiannual supplements will be issued for an indeterminate period.
Newspapers.com™ is the largest online newspaper archive consisting of 907 million+ pages of historical newspapers from 24,300+ newspapers from around the United States and beyond. Newspapers provide a unique view of the past and can help us understand and connect with the people, events and attitudes of an earlier time.
Leaflet topic categories to begin your exploration of this popular and authoritative resource
CatalogIt software trial
CatalogIt is an application for documenting the Story of Things. Each story begins with a single item — where, when, how, and by whom it was made; what it was used for; and how it came to be where it is today. As an item’s story unfolds, it is enriched by relationships to other items, people, and places based on shared physical characteristics and history. CatalogIt empowers you to discover these interconnected stories, record them in detail, and present them in an accessible, inspiring format.
A PDF with some tips for organizing collections.