WE ALL BELONG IN ARCHIVES
We can probably all agree that women make up half of history. We can probably also agree that women do NOT make up half of history. I believe that one solution is to look to the archives. When we add our own documents, photos, and voices to the collections of archives, historical societies, and other repositories, that expands the possibilities for what kind of history can be told. We must insist on our own inclusion and donate family and individual records.
ORAL HISTORY IS IMPORTANT
First, the human voice is nuanced. Capturing a voice adds depth and texture to our understanding and it allows an instant emotional connection with important people in our lives.
Second, oral history interviews allow us the chance to know stories that may have no paper trail! They may have left no trace at all… such as the antics of teenaged farmhands, meeting a birth mother, or hearing a grandmother say, “I loved school — and I was good at it, too!
I am delighted to offer a chance to do this work to add to the voices of women, historically excluded people, and family to history. Click the red button to get started with a short phone call.
Gatherings can be tough! You’ve been through it, and probably tried to:
🛑 Get that teen to stop talking politics until grandma leaves?
🛑 Ask kids to share about school?
🛑 Shut down talk that’s offensive?
🛑 Grin and bear it?
Potluck Legacy invites everyone to contribute to a shared project: collecting stories and histories of the group.
Friends or family.
The Potluck Legacy guide will be the best $7 you spend this month!.
Potluck Legacy walks you through a FUN small group archive:
🦃 the plan: set the scene for success
🦃 the process: when everyone shows up
🦃 the project: documenting & sharing this legacy project with those who chipped in.
PLUS: how to extend the life of your collection! Best practices for both digital preservation & care and handling of your items.
Grab it right here for $7 on Paypal: https://bit.ly/potlucklegacy
Angela L. Todd
I spent 18 years as “archivist and senior research scholar” at an academic science library, actively adding women & people of color to the global historical record of a branch of science. 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.
A portion of my profits go to a monthly donation to the National Women’s History Museum.
Thinking about a bigger project? Schedule a free 30 minute consult:
MEDIA & SPEAKING
Trained as a teacher and public educator, Angela loves to engage groups on topics related to family and women’s history, oral history, legacy-building, and archives — particularly in relation to historically excluded populations. For more information click here.
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.
We will fix a time to talk about your photo together, online, for 30 minutes. Then the best bits of transcription will be printed on a professionally produced greeting card and two copies will be returned to you. (Order more for an additional fee.)
“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.
~ Services ~
We’ve never had so much stuff! We have the biggest collections ever, as our capacity to take photos and save papers increases. Keeping our history is a task that falls forward and usually falls to women — all the photos, mementos, letters, and paperwork. Yet women are still a small slice of archives and a tiny fraction of published history. It’s up to us to insist on our inclusion.
We can work on your unidentified family photos, especially albums; details surrounding your genealogy; and more. Angela Todd helps you sift through your family records and old family photos to create a family archive that’s complete and accurate.
The biggest mistake people make capturing stories is hesitating … until it’s too late. Record that infectious laugh, a favorite Yiddish folk song, or mom singing happy birthday… and bring joy for generations! Oral histories strengthen families and change history. Let’s capture them before they slip away.
I would love to speak to your group about saving the materials of historically excluded populations, women’s history, the importance of adding women’s collections to archives & historical societies, or lead a workshop around family history, family photo preservation, or personal archives.
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 while maintaining safety and access to all the family history. “I can’t recommend Angela L. Todd’s services highly enough. She was compassionate, professional, and organized.” ~ Thea Arnold
~ Happy Clients ~
Thea & Deborah Arnold
Oral History, Collection Placement
“My mom and I were challenged organizing 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. The museum was OVERJOYED to receive this collection!
”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. Rev. Terrlyn Curry Avery
“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.”
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.”