Books Galore

The past month has been very hectic here, and I apologize for not posting more often. Amongst other things, I’ve been working on two book-length transcriptions, both of which should be available by January.

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit a dear friend, Elaine English, and her husband. Elaine wanted to clear out her book cases, and I volunteered to assume custody of the books she has no need for. During our visit, we boxed up and carted off about half of the those books. Elaine and Bill acquired most of these from Allen’s Book Store, which was located here in Clayton, GA, but which went out of business in the ’80s, I believe. Mrs. Allen was herself a genealogist. I remember going into the bookstore and standing in awe before her personal collection of genealogy and local history publications, which ran the length of the wall behind the counter. Now, part of that collection has come into my hands.

There are about 200 pieces all together, bound in a variety of ways from three-ring binders and coil-bound pamphlets to paperbacks and hardbacks, as well as forty or fifty reels of microfilm. Localities covered include Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Connecticut, New England, and Germany. Topics include census records, church records, newspapers, the Pennsylvania German Society, marriages, and no telling what else. Some of the books are quite fragile, but most are in excellent condition. We hope to pick up the other half of the books from Elaine this week or next, after which I should have a better idea of what’s what.

In the meantime, I’ve ordered some Absorene to clean some of the books, which have a little mildew and dirt from being in storage over the past few decades. Some of the books are cloth-covered, and I’ve been told that Absorene is not an appropriate cleaner for those particular books. If anyone has suggestions for the care of cloth-covered books, I would appreciate the help.

I will be keeping many of these books, particularly the ones covering Pennsylvania and New England, but may be looking for good homes for the remainder. We’ll see!

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