30 September 2011

Sepia Saturday 94: The "Horse-and-Buggy" Doctors of Lee, Massachusetts

Dr. Charles W. 'Charlie' Stratton I

The Sepia Saturday theme this week is pretty girls, horses, polo, Queensland, magazines, the stratosphere, sea stories or Jean Harlow.  Picking up on the theme of horses, I introduce you to the horse-and-buggy doctors of Lee, Massachusetts.  Drs. Charles W. Stratton I, II and III all served as the town doctor of Lee, Massachusetts beginning in 1868 with Charles W. Stratton and ending with Charles W. Stratton III in 1996.

Lee, Massachusetts is one of those quaint New England towns nestled in the Berkshire Hills that are often seen as the backdrop of beautiful fall foliage.  Unlike the more famous resort towns nearby, Lee has only recently become a tourist destination having long been a working man's town.  The Berkshire horse-and-buggy doctor might be called upon to treat a millionaire in Stockbridge one day and someone injured in the paper mills or quarries near Lee the next.

The first photo is of Charles W. 'Charlie' Stratton I (1832-1886) making his rounds in his horse-and-buggy; house calls were the norm.  Had it not been for his wife, Lucy (Baker) Stratton, the long legacy of Lee 'horse-and-buggy' doctors might never have begun.  In a letter written to Lucy while attending Albany Medical School, Charlie wrote, "I hardly think Uncle Fred will succeed in inducing me to settle in Lee.  But you see I am in earnest about finding a location where I can fund a home of my own."  Where Uncle Fred failed, Lucy evidently succeeded!

Charles W. Stratton II
Charles W. Stratton II (1876-1945) followed in his father's footsteps.  "For 40 years, from wagon to automobile, the dedicated doctor made his rounds in Lee and the surrounding towns.  A trip to Otis by carriage took two days.  Bad roads often delayed him.  People ran from their houses to ask advice as he went on his way.  He made a familiar silhouette, stepping down from the buggy, his black bag in hand."  A trip from Lee to Otis today would still reward you with beautiful vistas of fall colors but would take only 20 minutes.  This photograph probably dates from late spring to early summer, 1901 when Charles remarks in his diary, "Must have a new carriage the old one is in bad shape."  On April 18, he ordered a carriage of Jim and on the 30th, "Bossidy put a carriage in the barn."  James Bossidy was in the business of horse shoeing, jobbing, wagon making and repairing.

Dr. Charles W. 'Jim' Stratton III (1918-1996) looked forward to practicing medicine alongside his father. Sadly, his father passed away before the dream became reality. After World War II, Jim picked up the reins of his father's thriving practice alone.  The horse-and-buggy days were over but clearly the young doctor recalled making rounds with his father.  When Jim first began his practice, he carried a fishing pole behind the front seat should the opportunity arise to do some fishing while making his rounds.  It never did.  Medicine had changed; but the country doctor tradition had not.  Jim continued to make house calls whenever the situation warranted remarking that his patients were his friends and family - all held very dear.
Dr. Charles W. Stratton III,  On Parade

Most Sepia Saturday themes leave me frantically scrambling through the jumble that is my digital collection. (Slowly but surely, the images are being organized!) With this theme it was difficult to make a choice - horse-and-buggy doctors, ceramic horses, harness-horse trainers, so many possibilities!  The choices others made can be found at Sepia Saturday 94.

"Four Generations of the Stratton Family."  Albany Medical College Alumni Bulletin.  32 (November 1969): 18.

Bossidy, J.W. (Lee, Massachusetts).  Receipt for horse shoeing services performed 9 August-14 December, 1899.  1 January 1900.  Original.  Privately held by List Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2011.

Consolati, Florence.  See all the People or Life in Lee.  Lee:  Self-published, 1978.

Stratton, Charles W. 'Charlie', I (Lee).  Tintype.  ca 1867-1877.  Digital image.  Privately held by Liz Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2003.

Stratton, Charles W., II (Lee).  Card photograph (9 3/4" x 7 3/8"). ca 1901.  Original.  Privately held by List Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2011.

Stratton, Charles W., II. "Diary." MS.  Lee, Massachusetts, 1901.  Privately held by Liz Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2011.

Stratton, Charles W., III (Lee).  Photograph.  ca 1980s-1990s.  Digital image.  Privately held by Liz Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2003.

Stratton, Charlie (Albany, New York) to "My Darling Pet" [Lucy Ophelia (Baker) Stratton], letter, 24 November 1867; Stratton Family Papers 1861-, privately held by Liz Stratton, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Cincinnati, Ohio. 2011.

21 September 2011

Wordless Wednesday (Nearly): Phoenixes, Basilisks and Unicorns at the Turn of the 19th Century

I loved seeing these early references to Phoenixes, Basilisks and Unicorns found in Auntie Leda's Literature notebook (undated, probably ca 1900).  This is for all the Harry Potter Fans!
Literature Notebook, Francis Leda 'Auntie Leda' Stratton (1878-1968)
© Liz Stratton
Literature Notebook, Francis Leda 'Auntie Leda' Stratton (1878-1968)
© Liz Stratton
One of but many treasures unearthed on Opening Day 1.  Like fine wine, each box is better when savored.

Stratton, Francis Leda.  "Literature Journal." MS.  [Lee or Westfield, Massachusetts], undated.  Privately held by Liz Stratton, [Address for private use,] Cincinnati, Ohio, 2011.

20 September 2011

Sepia Satuday 93: Well Deserved Rest

Mern Warwick © Chet Warwick, 1980s
This week's Sepia Saturday theme is rest or sleep or whatever the clever Sepians see in the photo inspiration. I love this photo of my mother resting after a long day's hike on a backpack trip into the Grand Canyon.  This photo is © Chet Warwick and used with permission. Having been on one of their trips into the Grand Canyon, I can attest to the need for a nap!

I chose these photos inspired by Alan's post on News from Nowhere:  The Book is Dead, Long Live the Book.  Alan is launching into a book project to commemorate his parents while I have the great honor of being able to help my mother's stories live on.

As you can probably surmise, Mern Warwick lead an extremely active life.  In the 1980s and 1990s, there weren't too many people in their 50s and 60s backpacking the Grand Canyon.  When cancer struck, limiting her mobility, my mother took solace in writing down our family adventures.  And they were adventures!  After breaking a mast and weathering a particularly violent thunderstorm in the middle of a large lake my husband commented, "I thought this vacation wasn't going to be life-threatening!"  

My mother and I combed through hundreds of photos trying to find just the right ones to illustrate the various stories.  We shared our memories and laughed as we worked.  Sadly, she passed away before we were able to finish her book - there were only a few unfinished stories.  But, as Alan has said, technology is a wonderful thing and it is now possible to create a bound book of her memories to share with the family.

It is very difficult for a photograph to convey the sense of scale of the Grand Canyon.  The backpacking routes my parents followed were 40-50 miles but covered only a very small fraction of the canyon.  Much of the distance seemed to be going either straight down or straight up!  You can barely see the river snaking through the valley below.  All the trips into the Grand Canyon included a swim!  Sadly, my personal photographs of the Grand Canyon are on slides - a box not yet tackled.  Below is another photograph taken by my father ca 1955.
Mern Warwick © Chet Warwick, 1950s

This is just one of several posts on Sepia Saturday 93.  So put your feet up, take a rest and enjoy a virtual hike through interpretations on a theme that are certain to be as varied as the strata of the Grand Canyon.

17 September 2011

Sepia Saturday 92: Shield's Steamboats and Locomotives

Boats and trains - what an intriguing combination!  The steamboat illustration above is from James Bard [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.  The steamboat, America, was built in Cincinnati at Shield's Foundry.  As land-locked as Cincinnati is, it is hard to imagine the major boat-building industry that thrived here in mid-twentieth century.  Cincinnati was a bustling inland port with a diverse, international population.

I've always been intrigued by city directories - especially the older ones that give a little personal information in a time when little survives.  Richard Manchester, uncle of Richard Manchester in Sepia Saturday 89, was listed in the 1840 Cincinnati City Directory as being employed by Shield's Foundry.  Thus began my journey....

Shield's, operating under a variety of names and partnerships, was a steam-engine manufacturer.  Francis Shield was employed at William Green & Company by 1819.  At this time, he was a whitesmith (tinsmith), bell-hanger, cutler and printing press maker.  It was probably about this time when he made one of the first printing presses in Ohio.

In 1825, Francis Shield co-owned Shields & Benton Steam Engine Company with Erasmus Benton.   By 1840, Shield’s Foundry was on the Southwest corner of 5th and Broadway.  The foundry was the 2nd largest in Cincinnati, employing a diverse group of over 60 people from 9 different countries and 7 different states in the United States.  Shield's was one of several foundries who built steam engines for riverboats.

Steamboats in Cincinnati ca 1850 from the Smithsonian Institute (Flickr)
For further information, see Cincinnati Panorama of 1848

Francis Shield also invented and built 2 demonstration railroad steam locomotives.  About 1829, Francis and his son, Edward, built a locomotive engine called Western Star. In 1830, his locomotive, the Cincinnati, was on display locally.

Richard Manchester and my 3rd great grandfather, John, were copper smiths who immigrated to the United States in the early-mid 1800's. Richard Manchester was an engine finisher working on steamboats.   An engine finisher polished the engine to a lustrous sheen as seen in this Flickr photograph.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered Shield’s foundry also made one of the first steam railroad locomotives built in the United States! While it is doubtful that Uncle Richard worked on that locomotive, others employed by Shield may have.

The people listed below all worked at Shield’s in 1840. An asterisk marks those individuals who were in Cincinnati in 1829 when Francis Shield was working on his steam-driven railroad locomotive.  It isn’t known if any of these individuals worked for Shield in 1829 or if they worked on the  railroad locomotive.  They all certainly played a part in the great steam boat era.

Name, position, place of origin
Charles C. Anderson, finisher, Pennsylvania
Wm Beach, Bookkeeper, Ohio
John Bierbaum, laborer, Germany
Peter Bierbaum, laborer, Germany
Joseph Bortonne, laborer, France
John Boyle, engineer, Scotland
Michael Campbell, moulder, New York
William G. Campbell, machinist, Kentucky
Wm Alex Campbell, Engine Finisher, Scotland
Francis S. Carpenter, engine finisher, New York
James Conkling, blacksmith, New Jersey
Dennis Cronin, laborer, Ireland
Patrick Cronin, laborer, Ireland
Ebenezer Davis, engine finisher, North Wales
Alexander Donaldson, engine finisher, Scotland
Cornelius Donnelly, laborer, Ireland
Charles Dudley, engine finisher, New York
John Frelling, laborer, Germany
Lawrence Gardner, blacksmith, Germany
Joseph Griffith, moulder, Pennsylvania*
William Griffith, engineer, New York
John Groves, engine finisher, England
John Henderson, patternmaker, Scotland*
James Hudson, finisher, England
James Johns, blacksmith, South Wales
Valentine Keister, blacksmith, Germany
Frederick Keutham, laborer, Germany
Henry Klaseng, blacksmith, Germany
Ferdinand Kramer, laborer, Germany
John Kuhn, core maker, Germany
John Leonard, blacksmith, Pennsylvania
David Longher, laborer, South Wales
Michael Lor, laborer, Germany
John W. Mackelfresh, moulder, Pennsylvania
Richard Manchester, engine finisher, England
John McNicoll, finisher, Delaware
Francis Moleux, finisher, France
Michael Murphy, machinist, Ireland
Chas Pund, Labr, Germany
Fredk Rehorn, Machinist, Germany
Ernest Reimann, engineer, Germany
Philip Rice, finisher, Germany*
Benjamin Riggles, blacksmith, Ohio
David Roberts, North Wales
Jabez Roberts, blacksmith, South Wales
Frederick Ruff, finisher, England
Michael Schutz, Labr, Germany
John Scott, Engineer, Ireland
Thos Scully, Finisher, Ireland
Joseph Shaddinger, Blacksmith, Ohio
Francis Shield, England*
Geo Shield, Machinist, Ireland
Edward Shield, Machinist, Del
Jacob Strabb, Engine finisher, Germany
Andrew J. Streeter, Moulder, Ia
Philip Urick, Labr, Germany
John Weaver, Screw-Cutter, Bav
Charles H. Weidner, Pattern-maker, Maryland*
Nelson Weythe, Blacksmith, Ohio
Anthony White, Blacksmith, Pennsylvania
J. Williams, Finisher, New York**
John Wilson, England
Frank Wis, Labr, France

This Sepia Saturday post is but one of many explorations on the theme of suitcases, travel, ships, railways, holidays, shops, Ireland, hand-carts or some other interesting journey.  You'll find them all at Sepia Saturday 92.

14 September 2011

Creating an Archival Finding Aid with your Digital Cataloging Software

I am struck by the similarities between digital asset management (DAM) and archiving. Can Lightroom be used to create an Archival Description at the box and folder level? Collections are used in Lightroom to bring images together for printing or other publication.  The collections depicted below show how Lightroom can be used to create an archival catalog.  The examples include one used by the Practical Archivist, JT Johnson Papers, and also a catalog of items from Opening Day 1.

S1B1F1 is Series 1, Box 1, Folder 1.  Electronic images of any items that are physically stored in Series 1 photographs, photo box 1, folder 1, will be included in the collection, "CWS S1B1F1 STR BW Photographs 1960s" mirroring the structure of my physical archive.
Click to view larger size
Dates from ca 1900

The nice thing about using a digital catalog is that I needn't scan all the items in each box.  "CWS S2B1F3 Francis Leda Stratton Literature Notebook," may only contain an image of the book and scanned images of any items inserted into the book.  Or, I may decide that I can't resist scanning the page on monsters for Harry Potter fans!

Digital collections aren't like the real world where you can't have the same item in two locations at once (Schrodinger's cat notwithstanding).  I've created a separate collection in Lightroom to reflect where the item was originally found. Scanned digital images of the items found in attic box one will be put into CWS STR AB1 Scans (AB1 for attic box 1).  The photo log of the box made on Opening Day 1 will go into the collection, "CWS STR_AB1 Cataloging Photos."

The item-level descriptions used for archiving can be managed using keyword tags or other metadata - more on that later.  In keeping with the Practical Archivist's advice, most of the item-level detail can wait.  Describing the archives to the box and folder level gives you a great start!  And, it may get the items to safe storage a bit more quickly.  :)

For instructions on setting up catalogs in Lightroom, see their help information or consult a guide to using the software.  There are several excellent guides including Lightroom 3: Streamlining Your Digital Photography Process, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 - The Missing FAQ, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book: The Complete Guide for Photographers.

This same general idea could be replicated using most digital cataloging software.  So how will this actually work?  For that I'll need to put the theory to the test!  Suggestions welcome!

09 September 2011

Sepia Saturday 91: Musicians in the US Civil War

Ambulance Corps Method Removing Wounded from the Field, LOC LC-B811-1078

This photograph was taken from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, LC-B811-1078.  The photograph was taken by William Frank Browne. 

Many of my ancestors served on one or the other side of the US Civil War.  Two of them served as musicians for at least a portion of their duty, Henry Clay Warwick (1843-1875) and Richard Manchester (1837-1903).

Initially I thought serving in the military band would be light duty but these notions were quickly disabused.  While bands played in ceremonies, parades and special concerts, they also played to rally the troops as they marched into battle.  Participation of bands in battles varied by brigade. In some instances, they accompanied the soldiers into battle and even played patriotic music during the battle while in a forward position!

In other brigades, musicians supported the medical staff.  They set up field hospitals before battles and helped transport and care for the wounded afterwards.  Richard Manchester likely served in this later capacity as he became a hospital nurse when injury removed him from active duty.  The drum in this photograph immediately caught my eye as similar to the one Richard played.

There are many individual dramas being played out in the photograph. The man behind the drum appears to have succumbed to his injures as have the two gentlemen lying in the foreground.

Another man reclines against an officer and takes in the scene in before him.  The relief on both their faces is evident.  The officer almost appears to be smiling.  Perhaps they are heartened by the sight of another officer being helped to a drink.

An officer directs the movement of the litters into the wagon - the bottle of medicinal whiskey clearly visible inside.  Is the officer asking for a swig?  Another stands by his sword at his side, head bowed, jaw tightened.

The lucky few were loaded onto litters to face an uncertain destiny.  Infection was rampant and took many soldiers who survived the battle.

At the beginning of the battle, it was the officers and musicians and again at the end of the day we see the officers and musicians tending to the wounded.  Deciding who could be helped, tending their wounds and then returning to camp to, perhaps, sleep a few hours.  The next day the cycle would all begin again ....  

Soldier Awaiting Transport

Leg Splint

Sepia Saturday challenges us to meet a theme each week and when we can't, then we open our grab bag.  I was ready to reach into the bag when I ran across this picture.  This week's challenge was, more or less, 'A Picture Tells a Thousand Words' or whatever theme you might see in the photo.  Thanks to Brett for the idea of making 'take-outs' of the photo.  It really helps to see the individual components of a complex photo. There are many more entries and interesting variations on the theme at Sepia Saturday 91.
Background:  Perhaps the Encampment?

Cataloging and Editing Digital Images

When I began this project, I was looking for the perfect all-in-one software to manage and edit my photo collections.  It doesn't exist - yet!  But, there are some very good alternatives that come close to achieving my ultimate goals.

Adobe Lightroom 3 will be the primary work horse of my digital cataloging and editing software.  The DAM Book, Digital Asset Management for Photographers recommends several different software packages for digital asset management (DAM).  For my more modest needs, keeping it simple will not only simplify the process but keep software expenses to a minimum.

Photo Cataloging
Lightroom is an image database that keeps thumbnails of your photos in the database.  Your photos can reside anywhere you would like - the program merely links to them.  I was able to quickly and easily import all my tags and collections from Photoshop Elements 9Lightroom works with a limited number of formats so 407 out of nearly 14,000 images were not imported.  Unsupported formats will have to be converted before I can add them to the Lightroom catalog.

Other cataloging software includes:  Aperture (Apple), Bibble Pro 4.9, Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.

Importing and Exporting Tags and Metadata
Tags created in Lightroom can be pushed into the metadata of your original digital image.  The metadata can be used by other programs so work done in Lightroom will not be lost if I switch to a different cataloging system in the future.

One Master Photograph
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  Well, sort of.  Lightroom uses parametric image editing (PIEware) to process photos.  Those using RAW format cameras are already familiar with this method of image processing.  Photo editing and enhancements do not effect the original image.  If you save to DNG format in Lightroom, you can have only one image and store alternate versions of the photo as sets of instructions.  I can have my school picture, a B&W image, stored with rendering instructions to make it sepia!  There is only one version of the photograph itself.  Rendering instructions require way less space than another photograph.

Easy Export to Other File Formats and Sizes
Making alternate size photographs or exporting as web-sets, etc. is all handled within Lightroom on an as needed basis.  It is so quick that there is no need to store multiple sizes or formats.  Well, at least not usually. There are always a few natty exceptions.

Online Photo Access
Not exactly.  It is possible to easily upload small web-friendly versions of your photographs from Lightroom to social photo websites.  You can even choose the metadata you want to travel with your photo.  But, Lightroom is not an online tool.  Download (and upload) speeds make online access to full resolution digital images impractical - at least for now! 

Photo Editing
As mentioned before, Lightroom comes with PIEware that will handle many photo editing needs in an environment that preserves the original.  As much as possible, editing will be done within Lightroom.  For those occasions when I need to do pixel-by-pixel editing, I'll use PhotoShop. When editing in PhotoShop, I will end up with a duplicate copy.  It may be possible to edit in layers in PhotoShop thereby maintaining the integrity of the original. But, it is too easy to accidentally change the original image to take the chance.

Are there other options?  Yes!  And many may work equally as well.  Adobe Lightroom won me over with the potential to have one master photograph and ability to easily import the tags and collections I had previously created in Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.

Now, my next question is to DNG or not to DNG?  DNG is an open source file format created by Adobe for use with RAW format images.  My scans will be coming in as TIF files and could either be maintained as TIFs or converted to the DNG format.  What are your thoughts on DNG?

Krogh, Peter.  The DAM Book, Digital Asset Management for Photographers.  Second edition. Sebastopol:  O'Reilly Media Inc., 2009.

05 September 2011

Skeleton in the Attic

The door swung open and I jumped at the sight of a skeleton whose vacant eyes stared back at me in solemn, empty eternity.  Laughter broke out in gales behind me.  What?!  Is this some kind of macabre joke?  Indeed it was and the joke was on me.  The family skeleton had been in the attic for an eternity.  Only those hardy enough to befriend it were admitted into the family fold.

It’s been years since first meeting the fine French maiden whose remains haunt the peaked timbers of the attic.  She is a remnant of days gone by when those studying medicine supplied the skeletons and cadavers used in their study.

What was her life like?  How did she end up as a specimen to be studied?  It makes me wish her ghost would visit so we could share a cup of tea while sitting on dusty carriage trunks – the air redolent with the smell of coal, aging fabric and faint rose water.  Like the boxes and photos and lace, I know that it is time for her to leave.

Hours later, I take one last look at the now empty attic, departing just as the door swung shut.

I had promised to tell the tale about the skeleton in the attic and Bob's First Campaigner Challenge entry, provided the inspiration - thanks Bob!  The First Campaigner Challenge is:  Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.  If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count).  For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

 Exactly 200 words with the correct beginning and ending!

02 September 2011

Sepia Saturday 90: Francis Leda Stratton

Falling Out
The Sepia Saturday theme this week is little girls, Spain, or holidays. I've always wanted to go to Spain but haven't yet made it.  So, I'm picking up on the theme of girls with these two young girls who appear to have been captured for all eternity in the middle of an argument.

Frances Leda "Auntie Leda" Stratton (1878-1973) is on the right with an unknown friend. This expression must have been invaluable in controlling her first grade classes!  No doubt, they also hung their heads in contrition.

"Everyone knew her as Auntie Leda and remembered her fondly as their first grade teacher.  'Come, come, little folks,' she'd say, clapping her hands briskly, "do be quiet for me now."  The children almost always would.

Small and wiry, she never tired.  Was one secret of her patience her constant knitting?  She never dropped a stitch while closely eyeing the blackboard and her pupils.  Generations later, newcomers to the town objected to the practice.  Former students who recalled their kind teacher with the clicking needles and large class were annoyed by the criticism.

Miss Stratton taught until she was 84.  Her record of 63 years of continuous teaching stood as a national record.  When applying for social security in 1963, she discovered that she was still listed as "Baby Stratton" in the Lee records.  The town clerk then added her name, Frances Leda.  (Her birth in 1878 was premature, and for weeks her parents had feared to name her.)

Until she was 90 Auntie Leda shopped downstreet, a birdlike figure who darted in and out of the supermarket aisles, chatting with her former pupils.  She had cared for at least 2,200 children."

Consolati, Florence.  See all the People.  Lee: self-published, 1978.

This is just one of several photos posted as part of Sepia Saturday.  See Sepia Saturday and click on the links to other blogs to see more.

01 September 2011

Opening Day 1: Making a Photo Log of Box Contents

When trying to identify the people in photographs, other items in a memorabilia box often provide clues.  The items might all have originally come from one room or closet or might all have belonged to one individual.  Frequently the items cannot be archived together.  For example, photographs and negatives should not be stored together as the negatives release chemicals that are harmful to your photograph.

You can preserve the provenance of an item by including box numbers in your archival list and numbering and removing items one at a time for cataloging. Maureen Taylor suggests making a record of a box's contents by photographing each layer of the box as it is removed.  Links to these photos can be added to your archival list.

Looks like the evidence room at NCIS!
This box contains a variety of items: letters, notebooks, black and white photographs, an old photo album, a miniature chess set and even a Boy Scout pin.  Each of these items need to be archived in a different way.  Deciding what to keep is always a difficult task and the items 'making the cut' will depend, in part, on your storage space.  Consider donating historical items to a local archives or passing them along to another interested relative.

It is hard to resist the temptation to paw through the box looking for photos or letters but you will be glad you did!  I can't wait to see just what's been uncovered!

Taylor, Maureen A.  Preserving your Family Photographs.  Charleston:  Picture Perfect Press, 2010.

Taylor, Maureen A.  "Preservation of Photographs."  Boone and Kenton County Public Libraries.  The Photo Detective Workshop with Maureen Taylor.  Boone County Public Library, Burlington.  21 May 2011.