January 1 is a day when people traditionally reflect on the year past and make resolutions about the coming year. It is also a time perhaps to get a jump on spring cleaning. This is essentially what several people did just before Christmas. They went through their family papers and donated them to the Connecticut Historical Society. Elizabeth Abbe donated letters and memorabilia from her father dating to World War II. Horace Sellers donated early family papers from Hebron, including the medical records of his great grandfather Charles H. Pendleton. These are still awaiting formal accessioning, but they are now safe in our hands.
There is usually one historian in every family who ends up with all of the “stuff” (in our family, it is me, which I realize is no big surprise). At some point the “stuff” becomes overwhelming, or the historian is the last in the family with no descendants to whom to pass the family heritage, or the person needs to downsize, or whatever. If you should find yourself in a situation like that, please consider the CHS as a repository, particularly if your family has a Connecticut connection. That connection does not need to go back to the 18th century, or even the 19th. One person I spoke with recently asked me about his mother’s diaries from 1930 while living in Connecticut. We LOVE diaries from any time period. We need letters home from Connecticut soldiers who fought in the Spanish American War, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. We would gladly accept Connecticut family correspondence from the 20th century. Did you belong to a club or organization in the state and have the records end up with you? That might be of great interest to us as well. You never know until you ask.
We have available a guide for donors if you want to learn more about the donation process. The guide can be picked up in the Waterman Research Center or at the Welcome Desk. You also can always call and ask to speak with someone on the collections staff if you have questions. We enjoy hearing from you.
Happy New Year.
Tags: New Years