Family history is one of those activites which brings an abundance of accumulations. At least that's how it is for me. The growth comes primarily in the form of papers -- documents; photocopies of documents; photographs -- and sometimes heirlooms that have been carefully passed from one pair of hands to the next through the years.
Family history is also one of those activities in which one is acutely aware of the cycle of life and death. Afterall, we search for death records, then marriage, then birth records for our direct ancestors and sometimes for their children. Life is relatively short and always comes to an end.
Not to be morbid, but one of these days -- hopefully one of these years or decades -- I'll be on the same side of life as my ancestors. When I'm there what will happen to the family history materials I've left here? What I have now would not fill a 4-drawer file unless I include my mom's little rocker, my dad's desk, my great-grandmother's quilt, and some of the other objects entrusted to my care. Still, they take up space and require care.
I'd like to hope that my daughters would want them and take care of them. But maybe they won't.... If they don't, who will want them? What will I do with them? Or, more to the point, what will someone who lives after me do with them? Will they stay in the hands of family? Or will they go to others who don't know or care about their history?
Have you given this any thought? If so, have you made plans or provisions for your family history papers? What do you hope will happen to the materials (both paper and objects) you've collected as you've worked on your family history?