Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Volunteering, Organizing and Trash Picking

Does anyone recognize this picture of a bridge in Darby Boro? Need a location

Preserving History

    Please take the time to support your local historical organization, whether as a member, volunteer or both. A number of years ago a man came in to a local society. He complained files were out of date, not organized, mislabeled etc. All he did was complain. I asked him if he was a member?, NO, I asked him if he would like to volunteer and help us get files etc. organized? NO I told him to stop complaining or just leave. His 15 minutes of complaining was over. All historical societies need volunteers and help so please do so.
    Organizing is important not only at the historical level but family level too. It took me over a year to organize my 4000 plus pictures of Delaware County by boro and township. I made files and scanned and photoshopped every picture. It drove me crazy but it has been such a great help having them all at my fingertips. I still keep finding old pictures in odd places in my history room. Organizing family pictures is just as important. A friend of mine scanned all of the important family pictures onto her computer. She identified all of them from great grandparents to grandchildren. It took her a number of years working on and off to put it all together. Then she had a brainstorm, she made copies of the discs and gave them to each of her children so they had the family history in pictures.
    Every local historian trash picks, it is part of the job. It amazes me what I find and what friends find and give me. Several years ago a friend saw a neighbor tossing out metal 35mm slide storage units. He jumped at the chance to have them. What shocked him was what was in them. The father had been a big local contractor and there were pictures all over Delaware County of jobs he had worked on. But the real surprise was the family pictures, vacations, school, parties etc. All tossed out.
   Organizations are just as bad. A local organization was moving into a new building and they tossed, awards, pictures, minute books all sorts of stuff. A friend of mine dumpster dived literally for me. I got all the minute books and some other things but most of the stuff was gone. I could not understand. If they did not want the stuff why not give it to their local historical society?
   Just on my street I did a small rescue. One of the founders of the Leedom Civic Association had died and I saw the piles of boxes by the curb for trash day. I stopped to look and while looking the son came out. He asked what I was doing and I told him I was interested in local history. He invited me in the house and took me upstairs. A lot of stuff was gong but he had all the Leedom Civic Association booklets all the way back to the first one from 1944.
   Lastly a local lady had a bunch of stuff from her uncle a local politician. She was nice and let me copy them all. She promised me I would get them all after she died. After she died I asked her kids about them ? That stuff? gone in the trash!!
    So take the time, organize, copy, save and donate what is important to you, your family and local history!!

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