Founded by Brooke Lake in Austin, Texas, Monocurate is a new women-led company that believes the lifework of individuals needs to be preserved. As stated by Monocurate’s spokesperson, Monocurate sees memory work as a way to authenticate individual accounts and thinks of archives as a promissory note to the future:
“We address the needs of both digital and physical archives with a focus on individual accounts – a mono curation of microhistories as a medium for your cultural heritage legacy. Our collaborative approach focuses on the ability to pass these histories down generations to come, documented, arranged, and preserved.”
The brand offers a broad spectrum of unique services, including archival organization, preservation services, oral histories, genealogical research, content discovery, acquisition & curation, reference and research assistance, descriptive metadata cataloging, and personal property appraisal. These services are usually aimed at institutions, yet Monocurate has made them accessible for everyday folks.
Personal archives typically include documents, photographs, diaries, memorabilia, art, and oral histories accumulated over multiple generations. All documents and artifacts are delivered to their clients in museum-quality enclosures at an affordable rate. This service allows clients to bolster their family’s identity while simultaneously providing a path for it to be passed down generation after generation. In addition, by curating the documents and items, the brand allows clients to tell a story that may have otherwise been forgotten.
The collection of an individual’s memory is constantly burdened by fresh information, pushing older memories to the wayside. Although this is a natural phenomenon, its normalization shouldn’t be so eagerly accepted. Monocurate believes that the act of looking into the past provides people with a sense of identity and equips them with the knowledge that can serve as a guide into the unknown future.
Monocurate maintains that the collective history of all people should be preserved, and it’s by educating the general public of its importance and value that the brand is trying to help global communities and individuals.
“At Monocurate, we take old photographs and other documents, and we organize and preserve them in a way that makes sense and tells a story. Our life work is to help people rediscover stories, give life to moments captured in photographs and important documents, and help people connect with who they are and where they come from.”
Monocurate‘s archival methods are collaborative. Instead of only offering services with fixed terms, clients can work with trained archival specialists to preserve their memories and precious moments during hands-on events. These events are geared towards memory box organization, family photo preservation, and guided DIY archival events for documents and collections.
“We want our clients to realize that creating a legacy now isn’t only for those with power, but in fact, it is family archives that are the most valuable; the individual accounts truly matter–it’s the hand scribbled recipe from your favorite meal or the program from your first dance recital. These only become stories when we view them in the greater context of our lives. We help to organize and preserve these items from the past, as well as contemporary accounts, so both can be passed down and paint a more colorful picture of your family.”
Brooke Lake, the founder and senior consultant of Monocurate, along with Digital Archivist Jessi Carrubba, are committed to educating people about the importance of archival preservation and aims to refine the brand’s archival methods and technologies even further.
More information about Monocurate can be found at the brand’s official website.