Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Good Book -- Ancestors and Relatives: Genealogy, Identity, and Community

I'm less than a third through Ancestors and Relatives: Genealogy, Identity, and Community, by Eviatar Zerubavel, but I already like it.  For example:

"...lineages thus offer their members a sense of vicarious participation in history "through" their various ancestors. By proxy they can thus figuratively touch the past."

is a pretty good description of why I like genealogy.

Kansas History Museum Podcasts

I just discovered that the Kansas Historical Museum publishes a nifty podcast series called the Cool Things Podcast, during which the hosts discuss interesting items in the museum and play Six Degrees of William Allen White.  Check it out!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

MHGS Jubilee

The MHGS Jubillee was yesterday, and it was fun!  At our building, we had hotdogs, antique bicycles, a book sale and ongoing demo of the new Quiring Collection of monument purchase orders (I was astonished at how much work it took to get ready for use.  The woman who took primary responsibility worked pretty much all her waking hours for more than a month, and several other people put in significant time, as well.)  The trolley ride to TKAAM and the library was fun too, and it looked like TKAAM was doing wee with their Fall Festival.

I didn't remember to take any pictures, but I did come home with a souvenir, of sorts.

A couple came into the MHGS to ask if we wanted a bunch of genealogy material collected by Ethel Posey Anderson Brown.  Because one of the items was a typewritten autobiography and the family had owned businesses here since the early 1900s, we said yes, we'd take it, with the understanding that we'd probably keep only a fraction of the material.  Somehow, in the excitement of looking at the old pictures, I volunteered to take a stab at evaluating and cleaning it up.

My current system involves five "buckets"

  • a plastic tub for stuff that makes it to the second round
  • a trash bag (two have already gone outside, including magnetic photo albums and someone's empty used envelop collection)
  • a bag of unrelated books and magazines to sell (anyone want an Oct 1953 copy of Motion Picture Magazine?  They're going on eBay for $10!)
  • a bag of things that might be good resources for the library, like yearbooks
  • and a bag of things I don't think we should keep, but which aren't indisputably trash (like a dozen photos of someone's new puppy.)  
My tentative goal is to trim it to the autobiography, a binder of interesting photos, and a binder of genealogically useful things like birth certificates.

Has anyone out there done this? Any suggestions?

Also, if there are any relatives of Ethel who want some of this stuff, either physically or digitally, email me.  Please!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

MHGS New database

The Midwest Historical and Genealogical Society has acquired approximately 25,000 purchase orders from a major cemetery monument company (and it's predecessor companies) in Wichita.  Some of these records date back to 1919!   There's an index on the website, and copies of the files are available for a small fee.  Very exciting!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

MHGS Jubilee Oct 22

Yesterday, while playing genealogy librarian (do you ever get to feeling like you know enough about a library to be a legitimate librarian?), I volunteered to help with the Family History Month Jubilee on October 22.  It sounds like it's going to be cool -- hot dogs, antique bicycles, a trolley between the MHGS, the Wichita Public Library, the Sedgwick Co Historical Museum and the African American History museum.  If you're in the Wichita area, you should come check it out!  I'll be the one playing sheepdog to get people on and off the trolley at the MHGS stop.