It is true that “you can’t take it with you,” and that something has to be done with all of the things we leave behind. This idea, and having to clean out the houses of deceased parents, sparked Dr. Elizabeth H. Dow and her co-author Museum specialist Lucinda P. Cockrell to write their book How to Weed Your Attic: Getting Rid of Junk without Destroying History. Dow will be speaking at the Deborah Rawson Memorial Library on Wednesday May 24, 2023 at 6pm. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Underhill Historical Society and the library.
Dow is a resident of Hardwick and president of the Hardwick Historical Society. She has a Ph.D. in Archives and Information science from the University of Pittsburgh, and she is an Emerita Professor of Library and Information Science at Louisiana State University. She began her career working as an archivist at the Sheldon Museum in Middlebury then at the UVM Library Special Collections, so she has lots of experience handling old papers, photographs and other documents!
The idea for this book grew out of Dow’s awareness of the confusion that a thousand little decisions can cause as you decide, one item at a time, what to do with a house full of family belongings. It also came from the authors’ distress at how much history just goes to the dump. The book is filled with ideas about how to determine if materials have historical value, and if so what to do with them. Your local historical society can help as well.