I got two items of genealogical interest in the mail today. The first was The Grand River Times, the newsletter of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Historical Sociey, of which I am a former member. I'm still receiving their newsletter, though. They have an interesting article about a presentation of antique Grand Rapids penny postacards at the Ford Museum in Grand Rapids on April 13th. Apparently, penny postcards are a terrific way to view urban history. Because of their economical price, many were massed produced in the late 1800's and early 1900's. If you can find a postcard of your ancestor's hometown, you may be able to see what his/her neighborhood, place of worship, place of business or local park looked like.
The second item was from my mother's cousin, and was a package of documents - copies of her parents' vital records and some of her father's military papers. This was my maternal grandmother's sister and brother-in-law, Mary Louise (Hoekstra) and John Peter Glashower, II. Not only are my cousin Kathy and I exchanging records for our own genealogical collections, we are safeguarding them by keeping copies in another state, should a disaster occur. The last few years have brought large terrorist strikes, tsunamis, hurricanes and other major events that should prompt family historians to double-check their backup plans on those priceless heirlooms and genealogical data.