Friday, February 6, 2015

Louise's Lost Files - Week 1 - The Inventory Process

This is the first of my posts outlining the inventorying process of my great-grandmother, Louise Lasiter's files. Louise Benson Lasiter was born January 1st, 1912 in Avant, Osage Co., Oklahoma and died December 27th, 1997 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. I came into possession of some of her files and photos last December while visiting Fort Smith. I have outlined the inventory process I am using while going through her files below:

For my first project, I tackled the two-drawer paper box (the smallest of the 3 boxes).

It wasn't that full and the items inside were mostly papers (and not photographs). All of these papers were folded and some were even enclosed in their original envelops.

I started by pulling one stack of papers out of the first drawer.

I looked at each item, one at a time, taking it out of its envelop.

I wrote down what the item was, who it pertained to, and the date in my lined notebook.

I then put the item back into its original envelop, indicating on my sheet if it came in an original envelop.

Once I filled up one page of my notebook, I bundled those items on the first page and put a rubber band around them; then I put a sticky note on the first item with the number corresponding with the notebook page.

If I found something interesting in the stack, I put a sticky note on the item so that it sticks out of the pile. I also put a sticky note on the first item of the stack to indicate there is something of relevance within the pile. I also put a big star beside the item in the inventory list

In this bunch of papers, I found several documents of interest - the marriage certificate of my great-grandparents, the deed to their house, an old deed to some cattle that was sold in the 1800s, and my great-grandmother's cancelled checks. I thought these items were significant, so I put a star beside their entries in my inventory list. 

When I finished going through the two file drawers, I had accumulated four bundles. I then placed the banded bundles into a numbered oversized photo box.

Later, when I'm ready to start writing about and sharing these documents, all I have to do is consult my inventory list to see what bundle it was placed in, then pull that bundle out of the photo box and retrieve the document. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I hope people can learn from my experiences (and my mistakes!)