My Family: I Could Write a Book: How Writing Helps You Learn About Your Family in New and Novel Ways

  • March 13, 2022
  • 1:00 PM
  • Zoom
  • 54


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Speaker: Joan Adler

It’s not what you know,,,,,or how much you know,

but what you do with it that’s important.

When Joan Adler started writing articles about the people she had been researching, it became apparent how much she didn’t know about them. Writing about these people became a valuable tool, at least as important, as her search for documents and vital records. This talk was created to illustrate possible answers to these questions; answers that may seem surprising.

Joan Adler thinks of her work as “social history.” Placing the details of people's lives into context: learning about the times in which they lived, the political, social, and economic conditions that affected their daily interactions, and how they chose to deal with these factors   She was hired in 1990, to retrieve the Straus’ family papers from R. H. Macy’s & Co., a firm the family had owned for 100 years. She wound up with more than 100,000 pieces of paper that had to be read, organized, translated, and transcribed. This began the Straus Family Project. She started writing a family newsletter in 1993. It contains articles about the history of the family, about living members of the family and about events such as family reunions. Past issues of the newletter can be found at                                         

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