You Inherited a Bunch of Papers. Now What?

Archives may hold historical and other value even if the deceased wasn’t famous

At the end of our lives, we leave behind memories—and lots of paper.

Not just diaries, letters and photographs, but rough drafts, notes, sketchbooks, date books, check books and receipts.

Clearly, the doodles, random jottings and other ephemera that most people leave behind are of no interest to anybody. But that isn’t always the case.