“Every time a person dies,
it is if a library has burned down.” -Old African Saying

Why Now?

Old formal photo of Lisa's grandparents

Day by day as life unfolds, we snap photos of beautiful moments with loved ones, or perhaps jot down an occasional journal entry to help us savor our experiences a little longer. At a holiday family gathering we might reminisce together about last summer, last time our grown children fit in our arms, or reflect on some of the last years we spent with our elders before they passed away. Illustrated heirloom books preserve these moments that tend to get lost in old shoeboxes full of photos or forgotten in the sea of files on our computers. By recording and writing out family stories we capture the voice and the stories of our loved ones so they are never forgotten. Heirloom books are a physical expression of memories but they also present an opportunity to process meaningful life experiences and pass wisdom on to future generations.

Even though the memories, stories and images live vibrantly in the minds of you and your family, the task of recording them in creative and meaningful ways can be daunting. At Family Heirloom Arts we delight in being your guide and creative coach through this exciting process. You can count on us for ongoing support, guidance and collaboration to ensure that your heirloom book is brought to completion and shines with all of the love that motivated you to tell these stories in the first place. It is never too early or too late to embark on the transformative process of preserving life stories through the creation of a lasting legacy project. We love what we do and can’t wait to get started on bringing your idea to life.

Check out some sample books here that we have created for others or get in touch to talk about how we can start making one to celebrate your family’s stories.

A hush fell over the room as my niece, nephew, and grand-nieces each opened their copy of our family history book. They turned the pages slowly, running their hands over photos that our family has collected for over a hundred years, reading out snippets of text to each other, some from letters, some from news clippings, some from stories that I wrote to condense our family’s twelve generations into a hundred pages. My goal in working with Lisa to compile a family history was to have our stories and photos in one place, that we can take with us as we spread farther from our family homestead in upstate New York. What resulted is a beautiful heirloom book for my family. But the value is far deeper and more treasured: the opportunity to talk with family members about our shared past that helps us all understand who we are and how we came to be a family.

– Emily Standish
Heirloom Book Client