Life Story Links: Blog Roundup, March 28, 2018

curated links to blogs and articles of interest to personal historians and family biographers
“I solemnly swear to back up my important documents and precious memories on March 31st.”

Did you know that March 31st is World Backup Day? That’s the pledge quoted above. 

“We all know someone who has lost critical data, whether it was their videos, photos, music, book reports, or personal stuff,” says World Backup Day founder Ismail Jadun. In fact, it is estimated that people now create and generate over 1.8 zettabytes of data per year, with 30 percent of people never having backed it up at all.

For business owners, that means protecting the “data” that is our clients’ stories and our livelihood. And for everyone, that means doing something to ensure precious family photos and other digital family history information is not lost.

Take the pledge, and spread the word: I have no doubt that if you are reading this, then you are invested in saving our digital heritage for future generations, too.

Business Minded

Because life story books are intended for a small, private audience, they can be hard to find. But for a new personal historian, they can be a goldmine for learning the craft, writes The Life Story Coach Amy Woods Butler of Kansas City, Missouri.

Bethesda-based longtime personal historian Pat McNees chronicles the history of the Association of Personal Historians, from 20 years of winding success to its sad demise in 2017.

Memoir, Legacy, Memories

A historic tragedy in her hometown inspires Patricia Pihl of Real Life Legacies in Western New York to think about the determining forces which shape our lives—events that happen outside of our control as well as the paths we consciously decide to take. 

While I love browsing nostalgic #foundphotos on Instagram, my scrolling is always accompanied by a twinge of sadness. It’s the storytellers who renew my hope.

Vintage “found photos” from the  Anonymous Project’s Instagram feed .

Vintage “found photos” from the Anonymous Project’s Instagram feed.

“In spite of the importance of the family history, when clients are asked if they know their great-grandparents’ stories, the answer is too often silence,” writes Michael A. Cole, president of Ascent Private Capital Management. Yet “they don’t want their story to be lost. They want to leave a legacy that lasts for generations.”

One man’s resilience in the wake of devastating fires and floods and mudslides encourages California-based personal historian Lisa O'Reilly to remind us of the value of forging meaning from our stories.

Ruminations on the power of memoir from an unexpected source, Harvard Medical School: “You have a unique firsthand account of your culture and history that others don’t, and leaving a recorded history of your life can be an important gift to both you and your descendants.” Indeed.

Short Takes

#MemoriesMatter #Legacy #LifeStories #Memoir #OralHistory #FamilyHistory