Imagine what it would mean to you if you could read your ancestors’ stories or—better yet—hear them told in their own voice! There are many reasons to preserve your story, including sharing life lessons learned through good times and bad, preserving history and your place in it, healing from trauma, celebrating your life’s journey, or telling the stories of the events and people depicted in your family album.
Experience firsthand how satisfying the process of life review is as you create a priceless legacy for your family and future generations.
- First Meeting We will start with a pre-interview meeting to determine the scope of your project and discover what form you would like your family history to take (see “Personal History Products” on the back).
- Budget and Schedule We will work together to develop a budget and a time frame that works for you.
- Interviews These are generally recorded in a quiet room in your home to minimize background noise. However, long-distance interviews can be done via Skype or telephone.
- What Will I Talk About? As your personal historian, I will guide you in discussing your life based on the goals we have set for the project. If you are uncertain about how to begin, we warm up by discussing family photos or special family memorabilia.
- Guidance I will work to keep you on track with your objectives, but also give you the freedom to let your mind wander to allow your memories to flow. You will find that memories will keep surfacing even during noninterview days and while you sleep!
- How Long Will It Take? The overall length of time it takes to tell your story will depend on the scope of your project. Individual interview sessions tend to range from one to two hours each depending on your physical and emotional energy. Interviews are done over a period of weeks or months, again depending on how much material you choose to preserve.
- Privacy You are in control of the content. There is no need to fear what you may say during the interviews. You will review and approve all material before it is considered ready for presentation to others.
The scope of your project and the final product will determine the cost. There are many variables in determining the cost of a family history project. Personal history services are labor intensive and include interviewing, transcribing, editing, revising, designing, photo restoration, printing, CD replication, and more. I will work within your budget to create the best history product possible. Family members often choose to share the cost of a family history product or parents may gift this priceless keepsake to their children.
The only wrong way to capture your personal history is to not do it at all!
PERSONAL HISTORY PROJECTS
Below are some recommendations for your family history project. Feel free to suggest your own.
Talking Photo Albums: Imagine clicking on photos in a beautifully designed digital photo album and hearing your ancestor tell the story behind the picture. What would you give to hear your ancestors’ voices? Inexpensive to reproduce, a virtual album can be shared with your relatives and friends and will be handed down from generation to generation (also available as a printed book with accompanying CD tagged to the photos).
Books: Combine your story with photos and documents for a comprehensive picture of your life. Your beautifully designed book can be either hardcover or paperback and can be as simple (copies in binders) or as elegant (leather- or clothbound with embossing) as you desire.
Audio CD and Transcriptions: Recording your life on CD will allow your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to hear you telling your stories in your own voice. A hardcopy transcript of the interview is also available to accompany the CD.
Recipe Books: Hurrah! All of your favorite recipes in one volume to share with friends and family as heirloom gifts.
Photo Books and Photo Collages: Photo books consist primarily of photos and drawings and are more like scrapbooks or shareable photo albums. You can also make a photo collage to posterize and frame.
Legacy Letters: A legacy letter lays out your values, beliefs, life lessons, and hopes for your family and friends. Its purpose is to leave behind moral or spiritual guidance for someone specific or for future generations.
Commemorative Videos: Commemorative videos are made using your photos, slides, and other scannable memorabilia (letters, documents, awards, and so on) to create a dynamic presentation set to music. They can be shown at weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, bar and bat mitzvahs, funerals, and other important family events.
Timelines: Create an illustrated event timeline showing your journey through life alongside historical events. Illustrate it with personal photos as well
as historical images, drawings, and maps.
Family Genealogy Trees: Together we can create a frameable family tree to commemorate and celebrate your ancestral heritage. (Genealogical research is also available.)
Personalized Photo Calendars: Give your relatives the gift of memories every month of the year. Include photos tailored to any theme (travel, vacation time, growth and accomplishments of children, beloved pets, your own art). Include everyone’s birthday and other family milestones on the calendar. Make it personal. Make it uniquely yours!