“The entire story of mankind has come to us from individual voices from the past.” —Janice T. Dixon
NEXT–GEN ORAL HISTORIANS
Kudos to these Michigan high schoolers for their 100 hours of work, their initiative, and their valuing of community story preservation!
OPEN TO POSSIBILITIES
Clinton Haby started his San Antonio–based StoryKeeping business in 2009 with the belief that he wasn’t the only grandchild who loved their grandparents and wanted to retain their stories. “I began with a single digital voice recorder,” he says—and look what he’s doing now!
Personal Histories, Shared & Sorted
Last week I wrote about Brandon Stanton’s insights on why people open up during personal interviews—and it’s not the questions.
YOUR NEXT READ?
“There is a deep relationship between finding meaning in one’s own life experiences at times of transition and wanting to share the stories that hold that meaning,” Sarah White, of First Person Productions in Madison, WI, writes in her thoughtful review of the book It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again, by Julia Cameron with Emma Lively.
MEMORIES & MOVING HOUSE
“Being the custodian of your family’s stuff can be a dusty, dispiriting and often overwhelming responsibility, but it is an act of love of sorts,” writes Emma Beddington. “We weigh it all up, make choices and hope we get it right.” Read her musings on sifting through masses of personal history and see how it compares to your own penchant for saving—or purging—mementos and family photos.
Banishing Bad Memories?
LOST IN WAR & SILENCE
“That generation...if they lost a boy in the war, they didn't talk about him,” says Paul Levy, author of the biography Finding Phil, which chronicles the life of his uncle, Phil Levy, who was killed in action in World War II. Too often families bury the past if it was hurtful, but preserving those stories for the next generation is so meaningful—as Levy’s search for history reveals.
THAT WAS ME, THEN
“The person I was then is important for my sons to know about,” actress Mayim Bialik says in this video about how she has dealt, post-divorce, with the physical mementos of her marriage. Bialik keeps her wedding album “lined up with all of the other photo albums and memories that I can’t run from”—and her sons relish seeing photos of their grandparents and family in younger days. There’s food for thought here for anyone wondering what to do with old photos of tougher times.
...and a Few More Links
- 11 White House memoirs by women that show a different side to the Oval Office
- Preserving your digital memories: How smart phones have changed family photography
- “Those books made me realize that though history is about big world events and politics, it’s also about the ordinary lives of ordinary people.”
- Backpack-sized archiving kit empowers community historians to record local narratives