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A Community For People Who Buy, Sell or Collect Antiques, Collectibles and Art

Antiques Saving Scrapbooks From the Scrapheap :Wood Guthrie

 Antiques Saving Scrapbooks From the Scrapheap

Woody Guthrie saved paperwork documenting his peripatetic life, from utility bills for New York apartments to fliers protesting shanty demolitions in Seattle and lyrics for folk songs performed at a Los Angeles radio station. He and his family put some of the artifacts in scrapbooks, but that did not fend off damage over the years.

 

The glues and album bindings weakened and failed. The page edges turned brittle and crumbled. Newspaper clippings yellowed and tore.

The Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives, which the family helps run at a tiny office in Mount Kisco, N.Y., has long had to keep researchers away from the more fragile scrapbooks. “Anytime anyone looked through, I knew we would lose a portion of it,” said Tiffany Colannino, the collection’s archivist.

During the last year the staff has finally been granting access to the albums, thanks to preservation work undertaken with a grant of $80,000 from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. Among other things, the money allowed the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, Mass., to box a half-dozen Guthrie scrapbooks in dove-gray cardboard and sheath the pages in clear polyester.

 

Read More: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/05/arts/design/preserving-the-scrapb...
Robin Carson/The Woody Guthrie Archives

A scrapbook page with a letter from Woody Guthrie to his sister. Grants are helping preserve deteriorating scrapbooks.

The glues and album bindings weakened and failed. The page edges turned brittle and crumbled. Newspaper clippings yellowed and tore.

The Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives, which the family helps run at a tiny office in Mount Kisco, N.Y., has long had to keep researchers away from the more fragile scrapbooks. “Anytime anyone looked through, I knew we would lose a portion of it,” said Tiffany Colannino, the collection’s archivist.

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Comment by Antiques in Bethania on October 30, 2011 at 3:38pm

Last week a young man came into my shop - he wore old clothes and was traveling on a vintage bicycle from the 1940s - he told me an incredible story and there was no reason for me not to believe him because of his sincerity which was re-affirmed when I saw the bike. Woody traveled the countryside by train, often jumping a train car for a free ride to the next town to sing. He staid for a while near the mountains of VA - near where the young man lived. His bike broke down and an old man who had a run-down business of sorts by the side of the road, were discussing what he should do. The man pointed to the woods and said - "Woody  Guthrie used to stay in tan old cabin over yonder, somewhere are bike parts. He used to have a bike like yours. You would know it was Woody's because of the color.

 

So the young man  went looking - near a steep old train track incline, he found a bike - kind of dented, rusty - but it sure did look like it would work.

 

He had to dig it up some from the years of brush but when he got it out and back across the highway to the old man, who said.

 

That's it - that's Woody's bike - you can see those colors coming a mile away when he was back in town.

 

Before the young man left my shop - we talked more about the old town I lived in and if I saw spirits or ghosts.

 

I laughed - "My shop is filled with spirits and yes ghosts, you see antiques have a past, often many pasts and many owners." 

 

"The young man said, "when I went looking in the woods. there many birds, came flying out from between the branches and trees. They sounded like they were calling, "Woody, Woody, Woody, then singing a song I didn't know, because I didn't know anyone named Woody Guthrie. I hummed the tune while I was crossing the road with the bicycle and the old man said, 'you're singing This Land Is My Land, This Land Is Your Land - that's Woody's song.' "

 

I think that this young man's appearance in my shop and then reading about Woody Guthrie's scrapbook, was an omen. Sort of what like I Antique Online and the site's members are about. 

 

Preserving and saving history.

 

 

 

 

 

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