Lecture Series


Each lecture is standalone and can be presented as part of a larger initiative within your library. Presenting the entire course on a weekly basis will leave patrons with the know-how to create their own family archive and how to leave a digital legacy for future generations.

Please contact me for pricing and scheduling. Each lecture runs about 1 ½ hours. Because I know libraries have different budgets, pricing is on a sliding scale and is negotiable.

Lecture 1 – The Basics of Archival Storage – this class presents the basics of archival principles, digitization, storytelling and how to create a legacy with pictures, documents and artifacts. The discussion is rooted in the idea that our lives matter and that we are all someone else’s ancestor. Attendees will walk away knowing where to begin, learn the best location within their home to store documents, receive a presentation of archival enclosures, and will get tips on organizing materials. It is a standalone lecture, but also acts as an introduction to the other presentations.

Lecture 2 – Digital Preservation – What happens to our digital presence after we pass? How do we preserve it for future generations? How do we save email, Facebook postings, word documents, and pictures? This presentation asks patrons to consider these questions and then begins to provide the answers. Fulfilling the Library of Congress’ initiative to have libraries teach patrons how to create a digital legacy, this class touches upon the best file formats for long term preservation, how to save email, social media pages, and websites. We’ll cover audio and video files and talk about digitizing old VHS tapes, papers, photographs and books. Archivists and the Library of Congress worry that there will be a gap in the historical record of the generation that built the digital superhighway’s infrastructure. This course attempts to close that gap and provide the first generation of the computer age with the necessary tools to create a digital legacy.

Lecture 3 – Organizing Your Materials – Genealogists and family historians quickly get overwhelmed with the amount of family memorabilia they amass. Learning about the best storage enclosures, environmental controls and digital file formats is a great start, but if all that material isn’t stored properly, access can still be unmanageable or impossible. Using the tried and tested principles archivists use to organize and retrieve massive amounts of information patrons will learn how to create a true archive for their family collections.

Lecture 4 – Storytelling – Everyone has a story. Some people want to tell their own story, others want to capture the story of someone in their family. This class outlines many ways people can tell story. We’ll discuss setting up a family Facebook page, blogging as a way of storytelling, how to create a memory book or do an oral history. For those inspired to write, we’ll discuss the differences between writing an autobiography, memoir or a book of essays and present creative ways of using journaling as a storytelling device.

Organizations where I’ve presented:

  • Amesbury Public Library
  • Bellingham Public Library
  • Centerville Public Library
  • Dighton Public Library
  • Haverhill Public Library
  • Littleton Public Library
  • Mansfield Public Library
  • Massachusetts Library Association Conference 2019
  • Stevens Memorial Library, North Andover
  • Norwell Public Library
  • Norwell Council on Aging
  • Randall Public Library
  • Raynham Public Library
  • Rehoboth Genealogical Society
  • Scituate Town Library
  • Seekonk Public Library
  • Southborough Public Library
  • Stow Public Library
  • Tewksbury Public Library
  • Wellesley Free Library
  • Westborough Public Library