The Library will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 27.

It's Germane

From the Archives: Spring Column

Hi from the best place in Sag Harbor – the John Jermain Memorial Library! Come see the new Teen room and newly expanded Children’s room!  Stop by and say hello at any of the service desks on all 3 floors! While you’re here, make an appointment to hang out with me and talk about Sag Harbor. Let’s connect!

I am thrilled to say that more people have heard and are sharing the news about your local repository for all things Sag Harbor – the Local History Archives Center in the heart of John Jermain Memorial Library.  Please continue to share this column and spread the word!  

Spring cleaning is upon us, and it’s a great time to dig out the family albums, photographs, and ephemera that you’ve saved over the years. Take the time to ask yourself, as you peruse those important family memories, am I storing these as best I can?  Storage space can be difficult to come by, but your family memories rely on dark, dry (but not stick dry) conditions in order to continue to survive. While there have been amazing stories of virtually untouched items coming out of an unconditioned barn or garage – most items stored in the damp with varying temps (without air conditioning or heat) succumb to mildew, mold, flaking, peeling, fading, etc.  Is a plastic bag or plastic storage bin the best? No. Those items don’t breathe. The best is an archival box stored in a dark area of the home, off the floor, (closet shelf, perhaps) that isn’t occupied by food or mice. Again, it can be tough to find the space and the urge to stick them in an attic, garage, or basement might be hard to resist. Do your best. Need resources to learn more? Let’s talk. I’m here to help!

If you can sort your items this spring, gently write in pencil on the backs of the photographs the full names and dates (or approximate dates) of the subjects, and bonus if you include the address and location of the photographs. The future generations of Sag Harbor will owe you a great debt. It’s time consuming, but creates an opportunity to reconnect with your past as you look to the future – another summer will soon be upon us!  

We have ways of digitizing here at the Library in the Library of Things (LoT). Items such as a VCR to move your aging VHS tapes over to digital storage and a negative and slide portable scanner. Both items must be used in the Library and Anthony or I can help you figure out how to use them.  

Reach out if you have any questions, or would like to donate a copy or the originals to your local history archives.  I would love to hear from you!

Please consider donating your family’s photographs, history, and stories to the Local Archives here at JJML.  Email to get in touch with me, Catherine Tremblay, Archivist and Local Content Librarian. Caring for the legacies of Sag Harbor is our earnest pleasure and solemn honor.

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