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Turning the Pages of the Scrapbook

Woody with his parents Nora Belle and Charley, and brother George, at their home in Okemah, Oklahoma, 1926. Courtesy of the Woody Guthrie Archives.

Woody with his parents Nora Belle and Charley, and brother George, at their home in Okemah, Oklahoma, 1926. Courtesy of the Woody Guthrie Archives.

One of the best ways to search out a unique view of family memories is through a scrapbook. In addition, many organizations and clubs keep scrapbooks. Not only do scrapbooks display photos in a historical context, moving through the years along side newspaper clippings, ribbons, and other bits of ephemera, but they can also be works of art!

It’s easy to see that scrapbooking is up and running if you browse the aisles of any number of craft stores.  Look down the shelves at the variety of paper, stickers, buttons, and ornaments for use in pasting pretty pictures, fastening images, and framing them in lovely embellishments.

The Woody Guthrie Archives houses, among other family treasures, seven scrapbooks. Each book shows a unique perspective of Woody’s life, either through Woody’s own perspective, that of a family member, or Harold Leventhal Productions. (For more information see: http://woodyguthriecenter.org/archives/collection/scrapbooks/)

We have recently added the finding aid to Scrapbook 5 on our website. For those of you new to archives, a finding aid is a guide to the contents and context of the collection. It details provenance, scope, and time frames, giving a bigger picture for the microcosmic findings within: a map, if you will.

Over the coming months we will be adding more finding aids to the website. Take a look at the box lists and biographical tidbits. You are sure to find something to ignite your curiosity and point toward a trail you may not have wandered before.

 

-Kate