20 years of preserving history

Populore Publishing’s ‘Show & Tell’ to be held in April, May

It’s always a celebration at Populore Publishing Co. At least, said owner Rae Jean Sielen, in the sense that they make a living by celebrating histories.
 The publishing company’s clients range from the Average Joe interested in sharing information about his family roots – to a 100-year-old law firm with a history peppered with groundbreaking legal work and built on representing national companies as well as Average Joes.
 “Populore was instrumental in bringing the history of Steptoe & Johnson to life,” said Steptoe & Johnson attorney, and author of “Firmly Rooted: The First 100 Years of Steptoe & Johnson,” Robert M. Steptoe Jr.
 “Their work helped us mark a monumental occasion, and the final product was the pinnacle of a year-long celebration in 2013.”
 The heart of Populore’s business has always been keeping history alive, Sielen said, and at the core of this enterprise is preserving the history of ordinary folks.
 In a way, Sielen added, it is like a celebration of personal, family and communal histories by preserving them in writing.
 But this year, Populore Publishing also celebrates its own history, marking 20 years of service on the calendar.
 The birthday festivities include several “Show & Tell” events throughout the year, when people can go before a group and share the history of personal objects, and the roles the items have played in their lives.
 The last event, held at Black Bear Evansdale in Morgantown’s Suncrest area, featured a group of about 30 people who brought along trumpets, accordions, antique toys and other objects, and then shared the history and significance of those objects in their lives.
 Upcoming events include an April show and tell at the Shack Neighborhood House and a show and tell at OLLI in May. Information about the events can be found at the Populore Publishing Facebook page, face company. Populore Publishing is based in Westover. It provides full-service publishing that includes graphics, layout and design, writing, and printing and binding. It is where ideas are turned into professionally produced pieces of work, Sielen said. She said they don’t perform the printing and binding services in-house, but they arrange for the appropriate options based on what is best for the client. Sometimes that means a photo dominant coffee table book, other times a written history in word and photos packaged in a leatherbound, libraryity book. Populore Publishing is a small company with five employees, including writers, design artists and an office staff.
 However, the work they do for the people who walk through the doors is sometimes bigger than life.
 The subject may be the story of their life or the story of their grandfather’s life or their great-great grandmother’s life, or it’s the collective tale of all their lives with pieces written by each member of the family.
 Sielen said when someone comes in to get help with a personal history, it could be a written book that needs work, a manuscript or simply an idea. No matter, it is Populore’s job is to put it all together.
 Sielen said a large part of what they do at Populore Publishing is personal histories, to help people have a written documentation of their family’s legacy, but that isn’t all they handle.
 She said she and her staff help people with poetry books - , novels and other types of written and pictorial works. Her business, she said, is all about helping people.
 “I have the perfect job. I love what I do,” she said. “I feel honored to be able to listen to people’s stories and help them preserve their histories.”