Keep, Gift or Donate?
When you are the lucky one, when you receive the physical book, the family Bible, you are probably thinking ahead to what will happen when it is no longer your responsibility. Recently there have been several Bible resurfacing stories, the Dunn Bible found in Mocksville, North Carolina, and the Sprik Bible from Virginia Beach come to mind. How to prevent that from happening to the treasures you hold is a worrisome thought.
- If you have descendants, do they know or care that this is a family treasure?
- Do you keep the Bible snug in an archival box with acid free tissue paper?
- Do you handle it with kid gloves, though cotton would be better?
- Do you read it only on special occasions?
- Do you read it at all?
- Have you photographed or photocopied the Bible, the front and back of the title page, all the insertions and the Family Notes pages?
- Have you written out the provenance, chronology of ownership, when you got it and from whom, back to the original owner?
- Have you shared the copies or digitized photographs?
- Has the pertinent family genealogical data been transcribed and published?
- Have you placed copies or photographs of those pages in an appropriate repository?
All of those questions need to be addressed but the bottom line is, keep it or give it away. Only you can make that decision. Genealogically speaking, whichever decision you make, save and share the family data.