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April 5, 2017

SVSU, Saginaw libraries offer family history-writing workshop

Riley MillardA collaboration between Saginaw Valley State University and the Public Libraries of Saginaw will help individuals better understand and preserve their family histories through writing.


Genealogy researchers and writing experts will lead a workshop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, at Butman-Fish Branch Library, 1716 Hancock in Saginaw.


The idea in part was the brainchild of Brad Jarvis, SVSU associate professor of history, and one of his students, Riley Millard, a public administration major from Tawas City who also serves as coordinator of the SVSU-led Saginaw Community Writing Center. The writing center over the years has partnered with the Public Libraries of Saginaw to provide various types of writing workshops.


Millard, a public history minor, hopes the latest collaboration will inspire families to better understand their origins by recording it in a “family book,” which can be passed down to future generations by the authors.


“This is something people think about doing but don’t do too often,” he said. “This workshop will provide people with an opportunity to take agency over their family history.”


Staff in the Public Libraries of Saginaw history and genealogy departments will offer participants resources and tips on how to research their family histories. Millard and members of the Saginaw Community Writing Center then will tutor attendees on various techniques and approaches used to document that history in written form.


“You don’t have to know anything about your family history going into this,” Millard said.


The workshop is free and open to the public.