Preserving Generational Memories


Some families celebrate the summer with an annual reunion; however, there are some clans that only undertake a massive get-together every other year. If you are part of the latter group, but miss crafting a scrapbook of the event, don’t fret. There are plenty of ways you can create a memory album featuring multiple generations of your family.

The first hurdle to overcome is photo and memorabilia collecting. Since you won’t be snapping pictures of all of your loved ones in one central place, you will have to gather images individually. To help you with this task, consider asking relative to contribute pictures from their own collections. While you are at it, ask them to share some memorabilia and anecdotes that you can add to your generational scrapbook too. Another option is to visit to your local city hall to research and make copies of items, such as marriage licenses, birth certificates, and immigration records.

Once you’ve gathered enough photos and mementos to fill an album, your next job is to organize the items and figure out a way to design comprehensive and attractive layouts. One option is to create theme pages. For example, you could have an entire section devoted to births, one dedicated to weddings and another to holidays. Other sections could include deaths, adoptions, family traditions, family businesses, and even one specifically for beloved family pets.

Creating a generational scrapbook without having face-to-face contact with family members at a reunion makes journaling a bit more challenging, but not impossible. Rather than being able to speak with them in person, you could call or email loved ones and ask questions about specific family traditions, or simply request that they share fun memories from the past. The information you gather from your interviews can be used in journaling blocks or as captions to photos.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.