Of Obituaries, Donations, and Family Heirlooms

Well. Quite a day.
Cousin arrived home with a copy of the Guardian while I was waiting for the water to heat so I could have a less than bracing shower. We found Mother’s obituary, and most visitors to the house have sat and read it.
Last week, I left a message with the Linen Hall Library about our grandmother’s autograph book. The person I needed to speak to was on leave, but he called me today and we arranged to meet in the afternoon. That was after we had sorted out the slight misunderstanding that it was an autograph book and not an autographed book I was talking about.
He had brought a couple of autograph books from the collection contemporary with ours. We had been thinking it something pretty special, and while he admired the pen and ink drawings I felt as though my homework was being checked. He checked each page, looking, he explained, for signatures of the famous.
There weren’t any.
Then he showed us the two books he brought with him. One belonged to the brother of Joseph William Carey, and many pages were covered with exquisite postcard sized watercolours. This’ll give you the idea. We oohed and aaahed appreciatively. The second book was larger and equally beautiful. Our grandmother’s book is going to be in good company. Cousin thought to say that we believe grandmother’s ancestor was the United Irishman. Olga was on the trail when she died. Our man registered interest.
Cousin and I are to receive bound copies of the book so that we can have the enjoyment of it without the responsibility. Should the Linen Hall Library ever decide the original is not wanted, the family will be contacted so that we can have it back. At some point, we hope to see our grandmother’s book as part of an exhibition.
Now that would have made Mother truly proud.

5 thoughts on “Of Obituaries, Donations, and Family Heirlooms

  1. I think that’s an excellent idea. We gave some WWII photos away to a museum after my grandfather died. We found them too disturbing to look at (he was a physician, and the pictures were of his patients) but too important to store in a box at the back of a closet. Neither I nor anybody in my family has ever regretted the decision.

  2. I hope it becomes part of the collection, too. What a good plan.
    Did I miss the link to your mother’s obituary?
    Just got home from an extended time away and have some catching up to do.

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