Monday, December 31, 2018

Saturday Challenge: Collections

I finally finished writing this Saturday challenge from GeneaMusings from back in November: Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music!), is to:

1)   Most of us collect dead ancestors and relatives now - what did you collect when you were a child or teenager?

2)  Tell us about your collections in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a comment with a link to your post.
My shelves aren't this organized!

During my childhood I collected many different items as most kids do. Many of the collections have no rhyme or reason to them.

I collected Barbie dolls, usually the off-brand equivalents that I could con Mom into buying for me along with an extensive wardrobe. Other toys over the years were collected as well.

As I got older, the collections turned towards books. I have loved books at least since I learned to read. Some of the shorter books I might devour in a day. I used the school library during the school year, but never the public library. I had an idea that I couldn’t use them, as there were none close around us. The Auburn library was, of course, for the city of Auburn and we lived out in the country away from there. I even have a vague memory that she told me (incorrectly) that the Powers Library in Moravia was for the village only. It seems odd, since Mom used the library extensively as a child, but she never introduced me to the fact that there was a public library nearby that I could use besides the school’s library.

I also hated to get rid of books after I’d read them. They had quickly become friends of mine and I liked to dip back into them from time to time. I would often re-read them several times over until I had certain passages memorized. Even if I didn’t re-read the entire book, I might read a passage or two or a chapter before I put it back on the shelf. This became a bit problematic at one time. Mom told me that I could only keep as many books as fit into the bookcase in my room. Dad, ever an enabler, would keep buying me more regardless. After a little thought, I had my solution. As I was a teenager by then, Mom didn’t clean my room, but left it to my responsibility. The bookcase would be nearly filled, but never quite full. Under the bed, in my dresser, and other places, however, were another story!

As I progressed through my teen years, another collection started developing. On pieces of paper and index cards there was information. Old newspaper clippings my Dad found and gave to me. Letters and such. You guessed it; I had started collecting dead relatives.

Changed from the original, these last two collections are the ones that have remained over the years.

The books have less of an emphasis on the fiction that I mostly read in middle and high school. There are many cookbooks and books on gardening and homesteading now. The vast majority of the collection has to do with either social history of times past or genealogy itself. A thorough “weeding” as librarians call it was done several years ago when my husband and I were married. Titles weren’t eliminated then, rather, we merged collections and made sure there was only one copy of each title!

The dead relatives have moved from those scraps of paper and index cards to file drawer after file drawer of papers neatly tucked into folders. At the same time, the database on the computer was started. Today it is slowly migrating to the database, reports and other papers. However, most of those are kept in digital format and the paper files are slowly being eliminated as the get scanned.

Thus although the content and sometimes the physical make-up of my collections have changed, they are virtually the same as that of my late teen years.

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