Donating Family Archives


Yes, you may have tons of family photos, documents, letters, journals, etc saved by the family over the decades. The family keeper of such items tends to be one or two individuals each generation and you might be that person. By all means hold onto family heirlooms and treasures, even if not worth a great deal in cold hard cash — to your family history they are priceless.

However, it is known that sometimes storing these family artifacts is not possible. NEVER just pitch them out!

First try to locate another family member who would be interested is keeping the items. If that produces no results, next check with the hometown museum of the family. There may be a couple hometowns if the family lineage lived in different places. Do a search on Google to find such museums and email or call to see what they can take. Remember, in a museum space is important and they can’t take everything. Do describe certain and more unusual pieces. If your ancestor owned a business in that hometown and you have letterheads, signs, good photos of the business, most museums are very interested in that material. Photos of homes in different towns is another important item to a Museum. Vintage scenes of streets such as the downtown section are very rich bit of history.  Artifacts -flagler,st-1940s

If there is no success with the hometown museums, try the FamilySearch Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are especially interested in any family autobiographies and biographies containing genealogical material and local hometown histories.

Check online through searches for any organizations dedicated to specific surnames. Look also on the Facebook or Twitter pages for any such groups. If you have some documents and information relating to a family lineage that other people follow, there could be a match. In doing a search add the surname to ‘genealogy’ or ‘family history’ so to find the correct groups.

Photos: Vintage family photos recently donated to Stuart Heritage Museum in Florida. County Celebration in 1926 and downtown Stuart in the 1940s.

Related genealogy blogs:

Displaying Family Artifacts

Sharing Family Heirlooms


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