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  • Slide 1
  • Slide 2
  • Writing Family History, Oral History and Preservation Writing: Research Gathering all available information Organization Oral History: Research Develop and organize of key questions Processing the interview data Preservation: Organizing the box Assessing the materials Documentary Preservation
  • Slide 3
  • Charles Francis Jenkins (1867-1934) Mark the word impossible out of the dictionary. First Motion-Picture Projector First U.S. Television Picture Radio Finds its Eyes http://www.amazon.com/Donald- G.-Godfrey/e/B001H6V1KO
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  • Pioneers of Television Philo Farnsworth (1906-1971) First public demonstration of electronic television August 1934 http://www.amazon.com/Donald-G.-Godfrey/e/B001H6V1KO Elma Farnsworth (1908-2006)
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  • Your History is Americas History It harbors beauty and is essential to your family and society. (Peter Stearns, Past President American Historical Association) Changes the world, the family, and preserves the good. (Robert W. McChesney, Media Historian) context History is context... Understanding the time what is happening at any given moment. (Christopher Sterling, Dean George Washington University)
  • Slide 6
  • Research All the Available Evidence: Written & Photographic All of the available evidence is... Gathering Gathering andPreparing Journals Family recollections are the most important! Interviews Analyzing photographs
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  • Research All the Available: Physical Evidence Family Papers Bibles Letters Certificates, diplomas, invitations Maps, weather http://ncdc.noaa.gov/ Newspaper clippings http://chroniclingamerica.loc.go v/
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  • Research All the Available Evidence: Meanings in Antiques Antiques Clothing China and silverware Furniture Works of art Items of value to the individual and family History of items as related to the family Creations of Individuals or Family What is in the box in the attic? Why were things kept? What is the story surrounding and saving the item?
  • Slide 9
  • Research All the Available Evidence: The Family Tree Climbing the Tree # of generations back Females and males Putting green leaves on the dead tree, giving them life
  • Slide 10
  • Context Research All Available Evidence: Context What was your familys place in history? Roaring 20s Great Depression World War I or II The Cold War Social Revolution National and local contexts Context Context provides a broader perspective and makes the individual stories more meaningful.
  • Slide 11
  • Share Your Research As you research... Share anecdotes that give life Print stories for your family occasions such as birthdays, Christmas reunions. Create a family web, Facebook page, or simply an e- mail list of family relative SHARE And it will come back to you 10-fold!
  • Slide 12
  • Research All the Available Evidence: Finding Help local Reach out to local, regional, university and national archives Contact hometown experts Visit local historical societies local Visit local museums locals Search out the local libraries where family lived Go online, be thorough and cautious Print and file that which you collect Stay alert... Research is ever ongoing process
  • Slide 13
  • Organizing and Writing Establish a focus Determine a size Books of 250 pages = approximately 100,000+ words The average person writes 3-pages of their own story Anthologies can be collections of any length Focus on people What is the context of a persons life What was going on during the time they lives
  • Slide 14
  • Writing Outline, organize your research, and start writing Check our other histories noting layout and design Stick to one font ( Times Roman ) throughout Use headers to guide the reader and your organization Keep photos to appropriate size and clarity
  • Slide 15
  • Publishing Print the family history Print copies will never be out of date or need new software Publish it digitally Digital copies are easier to share, the can be interactive and will eventually need new software If we do not preserve the stories of people we care about, they will be lost.
  • Slide 16
  • Oral History Old Woman: You get old and you cant do anybody any good any more. Boy: You do me some good grandma. You tell me things. (Robert Penn Warren, Being Here)
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  • Oral History Is About A method of recording Methods of preserving oral testimony The product of that process (http://www.oralhistory.org/about/principles-and-practices/)
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  • Oral History: Pre-Interview Seek advice and training to prepare yourself Select the appropriate candidate Conduct background research on the candidate Where was s/he born Facts about family parents, spouse, children, occupation and community, but be careful, this is pre-interview. Learn about the context, the timeline of paralleling history
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  • Oral History: Pre-Interview, cont. Get in touch with the person early, but... Explain why you want the interview Give them time to prepare in their mind Prepare an outline guide of topics and questions
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  • Oral History: Pre-Interview Questions Preparation Closed questions solicit a specific response Open ended Open ended questions encourage comfortable responses that can be lengthy Consider your person
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  • Oral History: Pre-Interview, The Equipment Purchase, beg, borrow, or rent a reliable recorder and learn how to use it Use an external microphone Use a power cord Or bring fresh batteries
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  • Oral History: Pre-Interview, Outline Create a broad outline Make a list of topics and subtopics Bring it to the interview! Bring it to the interview! Use as template Make notes on it Circle questions answered by not asked. Organize yourself Remain Flexible!
  • Slide 23
  • Oral History: Interviewing Set up equipment and stage the setting quickly Make the interviewee comfortable Best interviews are one-to-one ______________________________ Record your subjects name, the date and your name Begin with a broad open ended question
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  • Oral History: Interviewing DO NOT be afraid to stray form your outline!!! DO NOT interrupt the interviewee! DO NOT jump in asking a new question!! Do not jump up to look at photos!!
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  • Oral History Interviewing DO remember, ask open ended questions DO respect the right of your subject Regarding items they do not want to discuss Leave sensitive topics to the end DO demonstrate a strong interest in your interviewee DO keep notes on your outline DO check over your outline at the end
  • Slide 26
  • Oral History Interviewing Be a good listener! Be an attentive listener!! Shut-up and Listen!!! Shut-up and Listen!!!
  • Slide 27
  • The Oral History Mind The question The answer
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  • Oral History: After the Interview Label the recording immediately Transcriptions are invaluable Do them soon afterward They become the permanent record Storage issues?
  • Slide 29
  • Oral History: Transcriptions Transcribe the interview verbatim Add only Add only sentence and paragraph structure Listen to the interview and check it with the interviewee Re-interview for additional information if necessary Add desired photos Bind and publish for the family Roswell Bookbinding http://www.roswellbookbinding.com/
  • Slide 30
  • A Last World on Oral History Dont stop with one interview Keep going! Oral history takes practice and the ability to see each interviewee as a unique person and a unique opportunity. Oral history takes practice and the ability to see each interviewee as a unique person and a unique opportunity. Every person has a story.
  • Slide 31
  • Preservation : The Box Under the Bed Create a Family Archive Create a Family Archive: Organize the content according to the type of record: journals, scrapbooks, papers, photographs, oral histories Organize artifacts: clothing, furniture, plaques, decorative items, etc.
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  • Preservation: The Box Under the Bed cont. Organize the content by category, type or chronology Label the content by author, creator, or ownership Inventory your collection Circulate the inventory to the family and ask questions
  • Slide 33
  • Preservation: Artifacts Local Museums, Libraries or Historical Societies will have books and articles on historic artifacts as well as ways to preserve them Use upright boxes for papers and photograph files Acid free Archival and Storage Materials http://www.hollingermetale dge.com/ http://www.hollingermetale dge.com/
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  • Preservation and Restoration Ask an expert first before attempting restoration! Ask an expert first before attempting restoration! Restoration can increase or decrease the value of an artifact Book Binding & Restoration Use only a library bind for preservation For restoration and binding: http://www.roswellbookbind ing.com/ http://www.roswellbookbind ing.com/
  • Slide 35
  • Preservation: Using An Anthology Anthologies are collections of writings organized and published for purposes of preservation If you to not want to write your family history... Create an antholog