Hello, I’m Mandy, a scrapbook collector living in San Francisco, California. Most days you can find me uncovering 100-year-old scrapbook mysteries or teaching classes at San Francisco State University.
Online, I’m known for my ability to dig through piles of vintage paper and find beautiful stories hidden in dusty old scrapbooks, letters, and diaries.
My large scrapbook collection spans 1840 – 1950 and grows monthly. Paper of the Past is a collaboration between me, scrapbookers of the past, and time itself.
I’m compelled to find and share everyday memories preserved on paper by people like Genevieve, who wrote this in her scrapbook in 1926:
Genevieve Sartor is my name. America is my nation. Sandusky, Ohio is my station. Heaven is my expectation. When I am dead an in my grave, this little book will tell my name, when I am quite forgotten”
Genevieve took the time to make her book, and I will take the time to share her story.
Vintage scrapbooks are:
- time capsules in book form
- historic popup books for adults
- puzzles that you can read (so many clues, so much to research)
- Creative works of art changed by time (for better or worse… think water damage)
- Sentimental family heirlooms deserving of preservation
Even though I speak in public for a living (as a teacher), I’m a quiet person. I love books. A job interviewer once asked me what I’d do for fun if I had an entire day free. I said I’d check out five non-fiction books from the library and read all day. It was received as one of the most boring statements ever made, but I got the job anyway.
(Please email me and let me know if a library party is your kind of party. I know I’m not the only one.)
Paper of the Past allows me to put these stories back out into the world and connect with other booklovers who daydream of digging up time capsules and exploring antique shops on their time off. Thanks for following along and appreciating these historic gems!
Still reading? Here are four random facts about me:
- I listen to true crime podcasts nearly every day.
- Many years ago, before I started collecting anything, a nineteenth century photo album related to my family came up for auction on eBay, but my great-uncle was outbid at the last second! Sniper bid.
- Before teaching, I worked in over fifteen different cities across the US as an IT consultant. It was a tough job, but it allowed me to visit many sites such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Gettysburg (I did the driving tour on my own), and Alcatraz on weekends (I had no idea I’d actually live in San Francisco just one year later).
- I’ve been lucky enough to live in two historic, beautifully-restored buildings. One of them was an old hotel in Kansas City, MO, just blocks away from a four-story antique shop.
Let’s connect! You can find me on Instagram, join the email list below, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.