Keep it or can it? Experts to lead a discussion on clutter

MIDDLEBURY — Many of us feel overwhelmed when it comes to making decisions about what to keep or not keep when cleaning out storage spaces or entire homes — #konmari. The cleaning process can be stressful enough, let alone considering the historical value of your items.
Retired archivist Elizabeth “Wiz” Dow and retired curator Lucinda Cockrell, co-authors of the book, “How to Weed Your Attic: Getting Rid of Junk without Destroying History,” will discuss the art of “weeding” a space, whether it’s a deceased relative’s attic or your long-neglected garage, with an eye toward what we should keep for the sake of history and our communities. They will also cover topics such as how to preserve and/or donate family collections and objects, in a discussion at the Ilsley Library in Middlebury on Tuesday, March 26, at 5:30 p.m.
This talk is co-sponsored by the Henry Sheldon Museum and is free and open to the public.
Dow worked as an archivist at the Henry Sheldon Museum in Middlebury, the Vermont State Archives, and the Special Collections Division of the University of Vermont’s Bailey/Howe library before leaving Vermont in 2001 to create the archives track in Louisiana State University’s School of Library and Information Science. She retired in 2014, and moved back home to Hardwick. She is the author of Creating EAD-Compatible Finding Guides on Paper (Scarecrow Press, 2005), Electronic Records in the Manuscript Repository (Scarecrow Press, 2009), and Archivists, Collectors, Dealers, and Replevin: Case Studies on Private Ownership of Public Documents (Scarecrow, 2012).
Cockrell has worked professionally for more than 30 years in the museum, archives and public history field. She has degrees in Historic Preservation and Museum Education, and is a Certified Archivist. Her career has been graced by positions held at the James K. Polk Ancestral Home (Columbia, Tenn.), the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (Virginia), and the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University. She now lives in Lincoln, where she volunteers in local museums and libraries, serves on boards, collects ephemera, and helps friends “weed their attics.”
For more information, call (802) 388-4095.

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