2016 Society of American Archivists Short Fiction Contest Winner -- Family Stories
You will want to read this short fiction piece by Marcella Huggard, “Family Stories.” It is a story that ALL genealogists and family historians can relate to.
The jury noted that Huggard's submission addresses issues in the archival profession through a moving story of sifting through the evidence and reminders left behind by relatives after death. Her story speaks to the process of appraisal and its conundrums and how personal relationships can provide perspective. It also considers the question of how records of the less documented in our society are preserved given our presumptions about what constitutes a permanent record. In doing so, “Family Stories” portrays what it means that archivists deal with people’s lives and demonstrates the necessity of context for records.
Real the full article about the contest, the winner and the honorable mentions here.
You can read the winning piece here. I was thinking that I would include a snippet here that captured the “essence” of her story and like any good story, you just need to read it!
It probably really spoke with me because just before Christmas I was cleaning out my own files and shredded checks that I had held onto for almost 40 years. Really? Who was going to go through my checks? It’s not like I lived a life that would be analyzed in the future as a case study. Whirr went my shredder. Whirr and there went some old tax forms (not the filed paperwork; after all – there are limits on what a pack rack will get rid of) and all the supporting receipts, printouts, and papers … Whirr and there went some credit card statements (though, I did hold onto the original credit cards!). Whirr … old inventory summaries from my first business became scraps. With all that, there is still much I’m still holding onto and my attic and closets thank me. Give me a few years and I’ll be at it again.
With time, some things become even more important and other things become nothing more than just paper. We cannot keep it all and it doesn’t necessarily convey the story of our lives or the lives we’ve documented.
copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog. Any opinions expressed by guest authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the view of NGS.
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to [email protected] All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to Up[email protected]
Unless indicated otherwise or clearly an NGS Public Relations piece, Upfront with NGS posts are written by Diane L Richard, editor, Upfront with NGS.
Want to learn more about interacting with the blog, please read Hyperlinks, Subscribing and Comments -- How to Interact with Upfront with NGS Blog posts!