Angela L. Todd

Archivist, Historian, Activist

Every woman has a story worth saving.

Your Papers

We’ve never had so much stuff! Keeping our history is a task that falls forward — all the photos, mementos, letters, and paperwork. We have the biggest collections ever, as our capacity to take photos and save papers increases. 

Research

I’ll work on your unidentified family photos, details surrounding your genealogy, and more. 

Oral History

The biggest mistake people make with capturing stories is hesitating… until it’s too late. Oral histories strengthen families and change history. Let’s capture them before they slip away. 

Workshops & Speaking to Your Group

I would love to speak to your group or lead a workshop around family history, family photos, or personal archives

Collection Placement

Let’s find a permanent place to house your papers. Donate your collection for scholars to use in their research — historical society, museum, archive, or cultural collection — and your family can keep donating into the future.

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About Me

 

I spent 18 years as “archivist and senior research scholar” at an academic science library, actively trying to add women to the historical record and looking for the women who were already included almost accidentally. I have degrees in women’s history and cultural theory — the latter means that I see the cultural value of everyday practices such as food, clothing, hobbies, and domestic arrangements. Non-famous people matter. “I can’t recommend Angela’s services highly enough. She was compassionate, professional, and organized.” ~ Thea Arnold. Click below to schedule a free 30 minute consult call:

 

My Services

Oral History

Finding a birth parent, recounting a proposal, feelings upon meeting a new child. These are untold stories that can only be captured with oral history. There may be no evidence left behind at all. Community oral histories like rumors about the underground railroad may point us TO the evidence once we know to look for it.

Personal & Family Archives

Gather up everything you want to save: photos, letters, passports, journals. I’ll come by for a day or two and organize and catalogue all that time allows, with instructions on how to carry on with it.

VIP: Vast, intensive, private

This “wraparound” package includes oral history, archives, and genealogical work. With this three-pronged approach to unearthing the past, you’ll get the fullest story, know the most, about it.

Research

Let’s take your history to the next level! I love fleshing out genealogies with historical photos and immigration politics of the time. I also love a good mystery, and would enjoy researching unidentified photographs or photo albums in your collection.  I also consult on the housing and preservation of rare photos and documents.

 

Collection Placement

Consulting regarding placing a collection or family items in a meaningful public repository — historical society, museum, archive, or cultural collection.

Writing Our Kids Into History: for special needs moms

Traditional record-keeping does not account for our kids. It simply can’t. It relies on collecting data from the institutions that track: graduations, marriages, having children, and so on. So we are going to do it ourselves! CLICK HERE for details about this 6-week group.

Workshops

Tell & Show Photos: a framed & illustrated story

Share your story in your home for all to see. Put photos on display to pay tribute, celebrate an occasion, and enjoy yourself! Take your photos from hiding to hanging!

Service Providers' Workshop

Knowing family history makes kids more confident, and  teaches coping skills. Family history can be part of premarital counseling & parenting planning: what traits from your family of origin will you bring forward into the family, which will you not? Listing family traits and introducing “choice” in bringing them along is a powerful act for parents. And kids.

One Special Photo: the story of a great shot

Choose a photo that captures a tradition, a special moment, or a generation.

Gather folks to talk about the photo: what all the aunties remember about high school, or the best part of Seder, or mom’s tattoo. A pet that lived forever, that summer at band camp, the big family reunion, or your first car.

“I always held this photo very dear. But I never imagined how much it would come to life by talking about it. It was such an extraordinary gift to be able to reflect on where we were at that moment—both literally and figuratively. I also gained so much insight about myself, my path in life, and the way my experiences with my friends have shaped the person I have become. I came away from this experience with so much joy and hope.” Dr. Mary Sokolowski, One Special Photo client.

~ Happy Clients ~

(images of “unknown woman” from Library of Congress)

 

Thea & Deborah Arnold

Oral History, Collection Placement

“My mother and I were challenged in how to organize my stepfather’s records. He had had numerous careers, moved often, and collected ephemera relating to his family’s history. There were few official records of his life, but MANY photos, collected art, curated folk music, and the like. Along with his widow (his third wife), we attempted to list and organize what we had, and brainstorm where to donate it. I am a US historian, so initially (and incorrectly, I might add!) thought I’d be able to do this. We knew we wanted to donate to an archives or museum that would maintain the integrity of what we were donating–there were original pieces of art and clothing from 3 generations back, along with letters, for example, and we wanted all of that to stay together rather than donating the art to an art museum, the letters and records to an archive, etc. We hit roadblock after roadblock. I reached out to Angela. She was tremendously helpful! She suggested doing interviews with all 3 of us, and then spear-headed locating a local museum (where dad spent summers with his grandparents) to donate his collection. We were all so relieved! Angela remained in touch with all three of us during this complicated process, and facilitated introductions to the local museum. My father’s wife carefully wrapped and sent the various pieces of art and clothing, and after following Angela’s suggestions on how to organize his papers and familial records, sent along the rest of the collection as well. It turned out the museum was OVERJOYED to receive this collection!

Candice Hozza

Oral History, Genealogy, Archives

“I’ve had many beautiful tears during the last few days of interviewing family members and finding out such heart-touching stories about how people got together, and how people lived back then. I never knew how intimately people were connected. We are discovering great stories. We realized the urgency today when we talked to my aunt and she said, “I don’t have anyone left that I can share these stories with.” And she was so happy to talk about it. So find the people in your life that mean something to you and ask questions.”

Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery

Oral History

“We all want our relatives to live forever. We miss them terribly when they’re gone. But we don’t want to lose them completely. They live on in our hearts through their stories and memories. I am so glad we did this, especially now that my mom has passed out of this world.”

 

Patrice Dunckley

Oral History, Archives, Collection Placement

“The work we must do to create the world we say we want has many layers. One of them is to include the voices of the unrecorded in our collective archives.  I am working with Angela to find an historical archive for the family papers and pictures of my first step-mother’s ancestors who escaped the pogroms of pre-WWI Russia.  None of them achieved fame or notoriety. None of them built a business or ran for office. What they did do is record moments of their lives in story and picture.  It is a project of scope. A project of vital importance. An act of resistance to the status quo.” 

Don’t let your story be lost.