Creating Your Special Collection
We urge you to start creating your Special Collection today.
Save your letters, emails, birthday cards, photographs of
friends, lovers, and family, your unpublished poetry or prose,
work related papers, papers indicating your participation
in organizations you have belonged to, and so on. You might
want to make a video, an audiotape or a CD about your life
or community. If the Special Collection your are creating
is from an organization you belonged to, it can include all
types of organizational papers including minutes, leaflets,
photos, and newspaper articles about it or articles of incorporation
if relevant. Here are some pointers for the physical well
being of your collection:
- Store your papers and keepsakes in a clean, cool,
dry, dark place. Dampness, heat, and overexposure to dust
and sun encourage paper and electronic recordings to decay.
Keep moldy documents away from everything else.
- Unfold all papers so they lie flat. Creases tear easily
as paper ages. Remove metal staples - they rust. Use
plastic paper clips when possible and do not use tape. The
adhesive on most clear and masking tapes is very acidic, and
causes paper to yellow. Remove acidic tape from your precious
documents before it is too late.
- Don't keep photographs in those stickum photo
albums; the stickum is acidic and will ruin your photos over
time. Mylar or other archival plastic sleeves or acid free
paper backing with the little corner mounts are best. Label
the back of your photos in soft #1 pencil (pen seeps through
eventually) with the dates, location, and names of the people
in the picture.
And, here are some of the ways you can make your documents
and other materials most accessible and understandable to
the people who will use your collection:
- If possible, include an outline or timeline of the
major events in your life in either written or recorded form.
Be as lengthy or brief as you like, then organize the collection
using your outline.
- Identify the people whose letters appear in your collection, making clear who wrote what, and arrange the letters in order by time and/or correspondent. You might want to add a description of your relationship to them and other information about them.
- Arrange other writing, photographs, clippings and keepsakes similarly.
- Use folders (acid-free folders are best) for your materials and give them headings, for e.g., “LETTERS, GLORIOUS R. DYKES, 1981-1989” or “PHOTOS, SOFTBALL TEAM, 1985.”
- Clearly label your photographs, clippings and other items with names, dates and locations. Include notes explaining how the memorabilia, flyers and clippings relate to your life.
Donating Your Special Collection to the Archives
Although you can donate your Special Collection at the Archives at any point in your life. we suggest you to begin at an early age. But whenever you decide to send your material to the Archives you should, if possible, follow the suggestions above.
Send the material to our mailing
address along with which ever of our Donor
Forms apply to the type of material you are sending.
It is essential that you include Donor Forms with your
collection. They allow you to state how and under what
conditions you will allow access to and use of the material
in your collection. These are important decisions you
should think about carefully. And, without them we must
stringently restrict their use by researchers.
Once you send us your material and the donor forms, we will
give your Special Collection a number and add it to our database
along with any instructions you send regarding its use. We
suggest that you keep a copy of the donor forms. You can add
to your collection at anytime. Simply mail us the additional
material and we will do the rest.
In addition, include a detailed
bequest to the Lesbian Herstory Archives in your will. If
you make such a bequest regarding your papers, photos, etc.,
it will be less likely that uncaring or hostile relatives
will lose or destroy your papers. Ensure that your will is
legally binding by consulting a lawyer.
Offering your collection
to the Lesbian Herstory Archives is offering a reflection
of yourself to your community. Lesbians and others who seek
to know us by exploring your life are eager to read your words,
know your thoughts, and view your images. Placing your collection
in the Archives is a courageous and generous act. Thanks to
you and others who have offered collections to the Archives,
lesbian herstory will live as a life-giving force for generations
to come. We thank you for your generosity, in memory of the
voices we have lost.
|Copyright © 2013 by LHEF, Inc.