How a Personal Historian Can Help
Your personal story. A personal historian can:
- Interview you, record your responses, and edit your memories, stories, and observations into a flowing narrative or video.
- Organize, edit, and print a story that's already been written. A personal historian can also help by adding photos and captions, conducting interviews to clarify passages or find missing information, designing the book, and working with a printer.
- Conduct research to add background and context to the stories you want to tell.
- Edit, copy, transcribe, or convert your audio tapes, home movies, or video tapes into the most current media formats.
- Create art that reflects a person's life, such as a photo montage, a scrapbook, an illustrated poster, a handmade book, or a designer quilt.
Community history. A personal historian can:
- Collect and weave together the stories and experiences of groups such as war veterans, community elders, trauma survivors, hospice residents, or members of civic, ethnic, or religious groups.
- Manage large history projects for businesses or organizations, doing interviews, conducting research, writing the final narrative, and overseeing production.
Preservation and Archiving. A personal historian can:
- Work with old photos and memorabilia, to preserve and restore the originals and create copies that can be used in various forms of personal history.
- Work with libraries, universities, and historical societies to preserve the history of a special person or organization.
Teaching and Coaching. A personal historian can:
- Lead life story writing groups that help participants tell their own stories.
- Work with you as a project planner, coaching you through the process of creating your own personal history.
- Teach you how to:
- interview relatives and record and edit their stories
- write your own (or your family's) life story
- write an ethical will or legacy letter (expressing your values, hopes, and wishes for the next generation)