Life Story Links: October 2, 2018
“Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It’s transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It’s uplifting, it’s encouraging, it’s strengthening.”
BRUISES AND ALL
“I understand that sharing difficult experiences is decidedly not for everyone,” writes Chicago–based personal historian Betsy Storm. “But nobody can underestimate the power of such stories to lift others up from their own tender and painful places.”
THE RELUCTANT INTERVIEWEE
This week I review the 1996 documentary Nobody’s Business, in which Alan Berliner interviews his (rather pugnacious!) father about family history. You’ll laugh and you’ll cringe at their father-son interplay.
On the Front Lines of History
Check out Your Story Our Story, a national project exploring American immigration and migration through a crowd-sourced collection of stories about everyday objects of personal significance.
Neil Armstrong’s personal papers land at Purdue, his alma mater, including approximately 70,000 pages of fan mail, which Armstrong continued to receive from around the world for years after he landed on the moon. (Archivists: Imagine the time it took to catalog this “finding guide” to the collection!)
Memories that Matter
IN REMEMBRANCE OF 朱苏勤
“She knew only two people who speak English fluently—myself and my father. Not able to tell her story herself, I want to use my voice to tell it for her,” writes Li Jin in “Saying Goodbye to My Grandmother.”
AN APP FOR THAT?
In the hope that preserving “one memory at a time” is less daunting for some than writing a “life story,” I explored digital story sharing services in my latest guest post for The Photo Organizers.
STORIES OF OUR STUFF
In What We Keep, 150 people share touching stories behind their most prized possessions. Read three excerpts here, and listen to co-author Bill Shapiro talk about how things become imbued with memories and meaning.
Massachusetts–based personal historian Nancy West offers suggestions for looking at your life through a thematic lens. As she writes, “You might be surprised to find out that your life story has governing themes that go well beyond a simple linear list of dates and places.”
THAT (DREADED?) MONEY CONVERSATION
“Life story work is ‘heart-driven’ work, and like other service-oriented professions, it attracts people who may not feel comfortable with the money-making side of their business,” says Amy Woods Butler, founder of the Story Scribe in Kansas City. In the latest episode of her podcast she talks with educator and memoirist Sarah White about money matters.
...and a Few More Links
Is the ‘real you’ a myth? A medical take on the nature of memory
Museum educator discovers unexpected family ties to the place he works.
You don’t have to travel to D.C. or peruse 838 miles of shelves to visit the Library of Congress.
For life story professionals interested in creating efficient systems, download this free guide for creative entrepreneurs on Systems, Automation & Workflow (full disclosure: I authored one of the articles!).
A helpful and thorough comparison of print on-demand services