Several years ago, after speaking at the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree, my associate Afton Reintjes and I stopped at a Safeway Store along Van Nuys Boulevard to get some food for lunch. Instead of re-entering traffic on such a busy street, we drove around the back of the store to use a side street. In the middle of the alley in front of the dumpster, there was a large plastic bag. I stopped to move it out of the way rather than drive over it. The bag was full of someone’s genealogy manuscripts and family records - a handwritten diary, family letters, original photographs, family history notes. I felt a cold shiver!
Over many years of seminar travel, I stayed as a guest in genealogists’ homes. Often, my bed was located in the “genealogy room.” Surrounded by genealogy books and personal family history manuscripts, I was almost in heaven. And to my question, “What will happen to these precious materials when you are no longer here?” the answer usually was “I don’t know. My children are not interested in any of it.” Or, “My children are interested but they have no room to house my stuff.”
Each time, I felt the same shiver.
I could not ignore my inner promptings to do something about it. The arrival of the Sherwood Collection from England - 6 1/2 tons of professional genealogy files - in a cross-country moving van, demanded action. So we bought a large building on Main Street, in Tremonton Utah, that had housed a furniture store and sportswear knitting factory. When the remodeling is completed, this newly restored facility will house the 6 1/2 tons, the large plastic bag, and numerous unique and equally valuable collections donated by individuals and families.
If you have a genealogy research collection that needs a permanent home, please consider donating your collection to the Genealogy Library Center, Inc. We can give you a tax benefit for the donation of your precious genealogy stuff and you will have the secure feeling that all your devoted work will be protected and preserved. Your work will benefit future generations.
Arlene H. Eakle, Phd
"Arlene H. Eakle, Ph.D., is an excellent example of a researcher whose extraordinary education and the generous use of her knowledge readily, as compared with other genealogists, "separates the men from the boys". I've known her personally since 1971, and can honestly say that I know of no better researcher in her field of expertise." D. J. Martin, Ph.D.