“When nothing else subsists from the past...the smell and taste of things remain poised, a long time, like souls...bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory.” —Marcel Proust
Plenty of historians have studied the booming time period when New York City’s population fast approached five million, but other than one or two super-centenarians, nobody actually remembers New York in 1911. This immaculately restored film lets us all take a virtual trip there.
REST IN PIECES
Giving up things we've grown attached to can be tough, writes designer Susan Hood of NY–based Remarkable Life Memoirs. How she continues to value those significant possessions after they’re past their prime.
SUMMER OF ’78
Six months ago, a New York parks official came across 2 cardboard boxes that had been sitting around for decades. Inside were 2,924 color slides, pictures made in parks across NYC in the summer of 1978. No one had looked at them for 40 years.
YOUR SINGULAR STORY?
Why write your life story when telling your life stories is likely to be more compelling? Thoughts on memoir, biography, and the power of first-person narrative.
HEALTH BENEFITS, TOO
“Engaging your brain to write your memoirs can leave a recorded history for your descendants as it helps improve your cognitive fitness,” reports Harvard Health Publishing.
THE WORDS WE USE
Personal history, life stories, memoirs—what words are people using when they search online for our services? Kansas City–based Amy Woods Butler thoughtfully explores this important topic.
ECHOES THROUGH GENERATIONS
Family traits, mannerisms, preferences—how often do we say, “You’re just like...”? We take for granted that these connections exist, writes Marjorie Turner Hollman, but keeping the stories going just may ensure those connections remain intact.
AFRICAN AMERICAN LEGACIES
The opening of a lynching memorial in Alabama inspires Clinton Haby of Storykeeping in San Antonio to reflect on the personal biography industry’s role in capturing African-American legacies.
WITNESS TO HISTORY
Patricia Pihl of Real Life Legacies in Mayville, NY, looks back at the 50th anniversary of the Martin Luther King assassination and the benefits of reminiscence through the lens of a very public event.