The Massachusetts Studies Network

Today, I am pleased to announce the publication of my second archives book. It is aimed at individuals who wish to care for the personal papers in their homes. The Unofficial Family Archivist is a guide to help the non-archivist create, maintain and preserve personal papers, photographs and memorabilia. It will help people with an interest in caring for their family history and heirloom items to manage their documentation and historical resources in a thoughtful way.

My first archives management book, Cultural Heritage Collaborators, focused on how my colleagues could create a foundation for successful collaboration. I am pleased that John Fleckner at the Smithsonian and Ryan Lewis of the Illinois Humanities Council among others found value in it. I am especially honored that it was commended by the Auslib Sense of Place conference this past spring and that I was asked to attend the conference to speak about it. 

The two books can be used by communities in tandem to help individuals and cultural heritage professionals work together to promote and secure local history. The two books are particularly valuable for institutions such as historical societies that seek to make stronger community connections.

For more information, please see the recent ArchivesInfo Press press release. The new book is currently available through Createspace, and


[One of my favorite things about the book, which I haven't had the opportunity to share in press releases, is the beautiful images it incorporates. I've included a few in this post]

From the author's collection

(image above courtesy of the Waltham Public Library)

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Comment by Melissa Mannon on February 6, 2012 at 15:02

I'll try to get to one Joanne! Thanks so much for sending me the dates!

Comment by Joanne Riley on February 6, 2012 at 14:28
Happy to have you! Upcoming are Lowell - March 24 2012, Milton - May 12 2012, Peabody - October 20, 2012, Halifax - Nov 10, 2012. Do stop by any or all if you're in their vicinities - would love to get your feedback on the MMRS.
Comment by Melissa Mannon on October 21, 2011 at 16:51

Thank you so much for your kind words Joanne! I heard great things about the roadshow from my Waltham colleagues! I heard that they broke some records with attendance there. I've got to come see you guys in action one day.


Comment by Joanne Riley on October 21, 2011 at 15:00
Wonderful photos, Melissa!  And congratulations on the new book.  I found Cultural Heritage Collaborators to be a marvel of clear and thoughtful writing, and have just ordered Unofficial Family Archivist to support the Mass. Memories Road Show attendees' efforts to take care of their family artifacts.
Comment by Heather Cole on October 11, 2011 at 10:28
Cograts!! That's awesome!!


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