Scrapbook Research Project

By: Karen O'donnell

Researching your own background and gathering all the information you need to be able to add all the details of your life will be good information you can use for researching and making scrapbooks for anyone else.

You may decide to be a professional scrapbooker or do a scrapbook as a present for a parent. Whatever the reason researching for yourself will give you a lot of experience and if you find you really enjoy it you may want to look into doing this for others as well.

Let's get started. The first thing you need to do is organise in chronological order all important documents such as birth certificate, marriage certificate etc. You should be able to get certified copies of original documents by calling or e-mailing the records offices. If you call the clerk's office of the county in which you were born you should be able to get this. For details of how to find this office try Googling for this information.

Get a three-ring binder and list facts that you are aware of about your life.

Dates and years of schools attended. The addresses you have lived at, parent's names and occupations. Include your mother's maiden name. All these facts will jog your memory when you get around to starting to write the story. For now be content with the outline details and get as much written down as you can remember.

The three-ring binder can be divided up for infancy to 12, teenage years and adult life. Include in each section page protectors where you can store any memorabilia, documents and photos (be certain the photos do not face each other.You may want to have a page for each year so that you can add more information as you remember it.

Remember to work with copies of photos and important documents rather than originals in the scrapbooks.

Writing a personal history might be something other members of your familly and friends might want to do. You could get them started. At family gatherings make notes of things people say and incorporate times and dates for the scrapbook. If you ask a question be sure to make a note of the answer without interrupting.

Letters are a wonderful resource for scrapbooks. Be sure to keep these and have them displayed in the scrapbook pages. They are usually full of inspiration and ideas that will delight generations to come.

You may want to keep an interview notebook for different age groups. One for adults, another for children and different questions for teenagers. Your questions for adults might be along the following lines:

1. What do you consider to be the most important lesson you have learned in life?

2. How did you become interested in your hobbies?

3. At what age did you decide on your career path? Did you decide to do something else and if so what changed your mind? Why?

4. Have you been camping and did you enjoy it? Why?

These will be interesting to all the family and a great resource for years to come. Learning new things about scrapbooking means you can constantly make them better and more informative for all who look at them.

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