NSDAR learns about documenting history through scrapbooking

The Major George Gibson Chapter NSDAR met April 28, 2018 in Rose Hill, Virginia. Members present were Regent Nancy Britton, Andrea Cheak, Dolores Ham, Sharon Harrell, Judy Hounshell, Rebecca (Becky) Jones, Linda Lawson, Agnes Marcum, Fay Ramsey, Rebecca (Becky) Royal, Augusta Sinon, and Manerva Watson. Also present were guests Betty Bailey and Susan Parker, a prospective new member.

Regent Nancy Britton called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. She began the DAR Ritual with customary participation by Chaplain Manerva Watson and members. The group also joined in the Pledge to the U.S. Flag, The American’s Creed, the Preamble to the Constitution, and the National Anthem. Regent Britton provided the Flag Quote: “May those who seek the blessing of our nation and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose.” President Ulysses S. Grant.

Chaplain Watson based devotion on John 15:8 and read a short story entitled “Sermon in a Strawberry Patch.” The author, after noticing strawberry runners, prayed that the Lord make her like those plants, reaching out to bear fruit. Christians must produce fruit; otherwise, they will wilt and die. Joy comes from the Lord who lives in us, not from what is happening around us. Chaplain Watson asked a blessing for the food provided by Hostess Judy Hounshell.

For the “American Heritage Minute,” Hostess Hounshell showed a Depression Glass dish in the “American Sweetheart” pattern that belonged to her grandmother.

Andrea Cheak read from the President General’s message that the DAR Museum Gallery is nearing completion and that the gallery will be ready to welcome guests this summer.

Fay Ramsey provided the Flag Minute by reading about the flag carried in the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina on Jan. 17, 1781. She also read about a flag connected to the Battle of Saratoga in New York in October 1777.

For the Indian Minute, Agnes Marcum again read about the remarkable contributions of the Choctaw during World War I. As part of her DAR School Minute, Marcum reported that DAR now supports six schools: two DAR schools (Kate Duncan Smith and Tamassee) and four DAR-approved schools (Berry College, Crossnore, Hillside, and Hindman Settlement). Each school is now owned and operated by a private, non-profit corporation in the state in which it is located.

Regent Nancy Britton provided the Conservation Minute by stating that she hoped the bird boxes received at the March meeting are painted and put up. She reminded everyone to feed the birds, get hummingbird feeders ready, and plant flowers suitable for butterflies and honeybees. If you don’t have room for a garden, plant in pots.

As part of the Women’s Issues Minute, Regent Britton read that the five top women’s health issues are heart disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis, depression, and autoimmune disease. She also named several specially designated dates in May.

Regent Britton reported that our chapter received the following awards at the Virginia State Conference: (1) Chapter Achievement Award, Level 2; (2) Outstanding DAR Patriot Project Committee Support; (3) Honor Roll; (4) Outstanding DAR Schools Committee Support; and (5) Literacy Promotion and Honorable Mention to Head Start Program.

Program Chairman Fay Ramsey presented “Documenting History Through Scrapbooking.” She began by showing a “commonplace book” brought to the meeting by Becky Jones. The person would clip and paste things of interest, such as recipes, home remedies, and even obituaries.

Old documents and photographs should never be touched with bare hands. Ramsey noted how the paper in this “commonplace book” is disintegrating because it contained acid. Acid became a problem in about the 1860’s when pulpwood started being used to make paper. Ramsey discussed acid-free materials later in the program.

Ramsey told how her interest in scrapbooking began and showed some of her scrapbooks along with some different styles of scrapbooks. It is such a joy to put pictures together and write about them. Pictures alone are nice, but it is important that we know who is in the pictures and their stories. Scrapbooking is a way of preserving our heritage, who we are, and where we came from.

There are four things that are not good for paper and pictures: heat, humidity, light, and handling. Family papers should be stored in a cool, dry place. The back of a bedroom closet is not a bad place if air conditioned. Forty-five percent humidity is the best level for papers and pictures. Light literally bleaches everything. Never laminate anything and never use Scotch tape.

If an original photo or document is placed in a scrapbook, use those little triangle-shaped corners so it can be removed if needed. Scrapbooks should be stored in a standing position to eliminate pressure on the contents. Black ink lasts longer than other colors.

Three terms to look for when purchasing materials to preserve pictures or to write on are acid-free, archival safe, and lignin-free. “Archival-safe” means it is both acid-free and lignin-free. Everything Ramsey uses in her scrapbooking meets all these requirements. Plastic sheets to hold pictures must be archival safe. She showed an archival-safe storage box; however, this is not the best place for pictures because the stories need to be associated with the photos. “Acid migration” can cause a brown spot on a document that has been lying under another document.

Ramsey’s enjoyable and informative presentation ended with a craft project in which each person was given a picture from last year’s Christmas Tea along with a frame and other materials. She showed everyone how to mount the photo, add a title, and make a journal entry. Ramsey also provided folders containing information on preserving memories and caring for our heritage.

Several business items were addressed during today’s meeting including approval of the secretary and treasurer’s reports, a reminder to record volunteer hours and to continue saving items for the DAR Schools, and selection of themes for future Christmas programs. Plans were also discussed for the July 100th anniversary celebration. Anniversary pins were given to those who ordered them. Chaplain Manerva Watson was celebrated and presented with a 90th Birthday Recognition Certificate from the Major George Gibson Chapter.

After the Wreath Ceremony at the Wilderness Road State Park on May 12, the next chapter meeting will be the Flag Day meeting on June 9 followed by the anniversary celebration on July 28.