Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holidays Are The Time For Family Histories

Okay, I have just stated the obvious. The upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are the ideal time to reach out to family and collect oral histories. And, these oral histories are the details that enhance our family histories. So, now is the time to begin collecting memories and providing new and interesting stories to the family history. Get out there and record those memories!
There is one challenge to this mission. Keep in mind that a recorded oral history is only as good as the transcription that is made afterwards. Once you have collected that oral history, don't forget to have the tape transcribed. This is the permanent record that will entertain and inform future generations in the family. Have the tapes transcribed and edit it all into the story. Unfortunately, I have learned this lesson the hard way. I have four hours of tape from my father. It was recorded more than 20 years ago. I never had it transcribed. Today you can barely hear the voices on the tape. My father died in April and the tapes are all but lost. I am hoping I can find some magical audio shop to save it for me. But, right now it appears as though the tapes have been lost.
Learn from my mistakes. I know I have. I just finished an hour of tape with my mother. The tape has already been transcribed.
So, remember that now is the ideal time to collect family histories and traditions. The holidays are the perfect time to inspire memories.

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