It is important to take pause and think about the future residence of your research. Do you want it kept in the family? Are there those who would be interested in carrying on your labor of love? What if there are not? Then what do you do?
Do not over estimate, or over expect that others are going to care about your research as much as you do. Or maybe it is heirlooms you have. What’s going to happen to Grandma’s sewing basket? What’s going to happen to Mom’s wedding dress? What about those medals Dad received from the war? The same goes for larger pieces like a barrister’s bookcase, or antique bedroom set. In any case, consideration needs to be made in regards to their future.
It’s best to find out ahead of time what your family’s interests are and plan accordingly. Some items that are of historical significance or valuable to family history can be placed or offered to local historical museums, or state historical societies. In some cases, there may be special museums that would be interested, like local military museums.
In my case I have poems, essays, letters, and music written by a great-grandfather who fought in the civil war. Already I have begun contacting places to see if there would be an ideal place to donate them, so that all future generations would have access to these.
I have heard too many stories of years of research or family pictures being thrown in the trash. Then no one has them – the immediate family, or future generations. This is a tragedy and ought not to happen!
So take a moment, give some thought to what you want done with your research, and heirlooms and decided now. Unfortunately we have no idea when our day of passing will come. If we do not have these arrangements made ahead of time, it will be too late. Start working on it today!!