The Unofficial Family Archivist:
A Guide for Creating and Maintaining Family Papers, Photographs, and Memorabilia

"Your book is wonderful for anyone who is interested in preserving their family history.
It's well-written, inviting, and easy-to-read!"
Barbara Hemphill, Author, Organizing Paper @Home: What To Toss and How To Find the Rest!

Now available through our Createspace storefront
Also available on and bookstores.

Read the introduction online
Find links to references in the book

This new book advocates for the value, recording and care of your family memories. Are you passing on a well-rounded collection of personal papers, photographs and memorabilia or are you passing on bits that leave more questions than answers? Keep and maintain the good stuff that highlights your life story. Get rid of the clutter.

Melissa Was interviewed in December 2012 about her book. Hear Melissa's interview about preserving family papers on Fieldstone Common with Marian Pierre Louis on blogtalk radio.

Listen to internet radio with Fieldstone Common on Blog Talk Radio

From the back cover:

"Within every home is a treasure trove of information. Unfortunately, many irreplaceable documents that help tell individual stories, and the stories of our communities, are deteriorating among our personal belongings."

With that warning in mind, this book focuses on the care of personal papers, photographs, and memorabilia found in the typical home. Written for individuals who hope to protect family history, this book provides everything an unofficial archivist needs to ensure materials that connect us with our past are available for future generations. Its goal is to help you create and maintain a valuable family and community resource of recorded information about your world from the unique point of view of you and your loved ones.

The Unofficial Family Archivist is organized into eight sections that discuss preservation; creating and identifying materials that represent you; how to properly organize, preserve, and describe these items; how to prepare them to pass on to future generations. This book provides information to guide you so you may enjoy your materials, easily access them, feel comfortable that they will last for a long time and be treasured by your descendants.

Author Melissa Mannon is an archivist, cultural heritage consultant and author of the ArchivesInfo blog and newsletter. This new publication expands the information from her previous publication, Cultural Heritage Collaborators: A Manual for Community Documentation. Melissa's consulting work, projects and workshops encourage cultural heritage organizations to work collaboratively with local governments, businesses, and individuals who keep records in order to identify archives and plan for their care.