Historic online eye candy

Grandma’s ‘37 Road Trip. Not digital scrapbooking, but a scrapbook, digitized. [via Making Light Particles] Hmm. I’ve got a scrapbook that includes Grandma climbing Mt. Rainier. Hmmm. scanfest? Oh, that was Sunday.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 27, 2007 in • Memorabilia
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Veterans oral history projects roundup

Here’s a roundup of a number of Veterans History Project efforts that have been in the news.

  • Fargo, North Dakota Fargo Jaycees sponsor local oral history collection effort, focusing on WW2 Veterans. Signup information “Please call or contact Lance Akers at (701) 238-9298, visit www.tristateveterans.com or e-mail adoptavet@loretel.net to set up an appointment.”
  • Congress resolution establishes “National Veterans History Project Week.”
  • From Library of Congress site: National Veterans History Project Week was November 11-17, 2007. “The resolution calls upon the people of the United States to interview at least one veteran from their family or community, following guidelines provided by the Veterans History Project.” Didn’t know it then, but I did do a recording with my dad on ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 26, 2007 in • Veterans History Project
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Oral History’s Dirty Little Secret

Stud Terkel’s People. Harry Maurer, author of Not working (an oral history of unemployment that’s a zags off of Terkel’s Working zig), reflects on oral history, and Studs Terkel.

After finishing Not Working, Studs Terkel invites Maurer onto his radio show.

Soon there we were, across a table in the WFMT studio, the celebrated author of Working interviewing the rookie author of Not working, Studs voluble, fizzy with energy. He quickly zeroed in on something I had remarked upon: that no matter how people lose their job, even if they have been laid off with hundreds or thousands of others, they usually feel a sense of failure and shame, that somehow it is their fault. Studs saw the suffering in that, and saw that it stems, at least in part, from the American every-man-for-himself ethos we breathe in from the cradle. That fit with what I knew about Studs from ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on in • Oral Historians
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Genealogy Carnival: Carousel (+ one Techish highlight)

The 36th edition of Genealogy Carnival is a carousel, or free-for-all. (I missed submitting an entry. Have I mentioned I’ve been busy?). Go read them all. One in particular I found striking, Technology and Early Adopters in Your Family Tree, by Thomas Macentee. Electricity, telephone, plumbing. How they did without, how they did. My grandpa wrote a 15-page double spaced paper for his family during the final years of his life, called “Twentieth Century Developments.” I wrote about it at great length in the comments, and am posting the same thing here, too–with some additional quotes.

My grandpa offered up his observations about various and sundry inventions and changes he’d observed in this lifetime in his “Twentieth Century Developments” paper.

There’s lots to do with transportation, beginning with railroad (his grandfather—from the 1880s and uncles worked for the Denver and Rio Grande RR in Colorado). Then, in 1912, my grandpa’s father bought a Model T—and his description goes into the art of car-care before there was much in the way of documentation.

For the first 12 years of my life we had nice old black Jim, our horse, and his buggy for transportation. Then Dad bought the Ford. I never knew where he bought it or how he got it to Walsen, but it was ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 20, 2007 in • GenealogyPersonal History
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Memory Miner is now on Windows!

imageGo and get it! Just in time for Family Tech Support Holiday, I mean, Thanksgiving! wink I kid (but I have blogged Thanksgiving Tech before), but it’s true.

MemoryMiner is a photo album and then some (it won best of show when it was introduced at Macworld in January 2006)—import your photos. Identify the people in the photos, the places, and the date the photo was taken (even if your date is approximate). The more you add and work with, the more you can look at photos differently. Let me see photos of Grandma Kitchens, taken in her childhood and teens (1901-1920) before she married Grandpa and became a “Kitchens.” Click the icon for her, and move the date sliders to show 1901-1920. Voila! Your photo album just got rearranged to show only those photos.

Since early in the days of MemoryMiner (Mac), photo libraries have been sharable. So ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 19, 2007 in • Family History SoftwarePersonal HistoryPhotographs
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161 meme!

I’ve been 161’d! Moultrie Creek hit me with the meme– what current book am I reading? Turn to page 161, and find the sixth sentence and type that down. Pass it on. Okay. But oh, I’m having a hard time of it. But I’ll give it a go.

The item I was reading just when I saw this meme is something that I got in the mail today. It’s a tech paper put out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscar people), called “The Digital Dilemma.” (I mentioned it here.) and the page numbers go only up to 74 (just like the volume that goes up to 11). So, um, what’s on page 61? A diagram. errr, okay, how about page 16? The sixth sentence—in the midst of a discussion about a senior film studio executive discussing his film archiving strategy—reads:

His company’s film IP typically goes bad every 6 to 7 years due to repeated use.

oookay. (hav no idea what IP refers to here. Intellectual Property? Don’t know.)

...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 18, 2007 in • Books
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Yearning and Family History (from the Oral History Assn conference)

“Yearning,” she called it. Yearning. Her word leapt at me with all the force of being the right, true, word describing what’s within me. Her story: An experienced oral history interviewer visits a distant family member and is very quickly drawn into a story of trauma, of holocaust, of fractured families. The Q & A brought forth uncanny connections between her story, and other stories of fracturing, family, holocaust and slavery.

The panel at the Oral History Association conference in Oakland was called Community and Individual Memory. One presentation, about how the City of Fremont celebrated its 50th anniversary, is worth its own short post. This post is about a presentation by Rina Benmayor,  on yearning and family interviewing.

Benmayor is one of the founders and directors of the CSUMB  Oral History and Community Memory Institute and Archive. She’s an experienced oral history interviewer. In her presentation, she describes how, after doing some family research, she went to northern Greece to visit a relative (grandmother’s cousin*), whom she calls “Duka.” They had not met before. Benmayor brought her ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on in • InterviewingOral HistoriansPersonal History
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All comments to be moderated

I hate to do this, but I’m going to have to change things here so that all comments will be moderated. All comments moderated, all the time. Sorry about that. The incoming comment spam is growing worse. I like it that this site’s software allows for commenters up-thread to be notified when a new person comments on that thread. Comment spam makes that a pain for real commenters, so for now, comments are moderated.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 12, 2007 in • Housekeeping
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David Isay will be at Vroman’s Tonight

imageDavid Isay, founder of StoryCorps, will be making an appearance at Vroman’s (local independent bookstore) tonight to talk about and sign the StoryCorps book, Listening Is an Act of Love, A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project.

The storybooth is also in town, in Santa Monica, for the second time (Nov. 8-Dec 8, 2007). Like the first time in Santa Monica, news of its appearance snuck up on me, unawares. However, this time around the Storybooth schedule says there’ll be there’ll be a Los Angeles Storybooth, and I know when signups begin.


Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on in • BooksOral History Projects
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Motion picture sci/tech report on archiving

[updated] Hollywood Reporter reports that (the Oscar organization)’s Science/Tech council’s released 64-page report on archiving. From the looks of it, the limits of digital are being manifest. I’d like to look closer to see how much of an overlap there is for motion picture industry’s archiving existing work and how to preserve audio and visual recordings that are born digital.

Update [18 November]: I went to the web site and inquired if the paper was available. Not in downloadable form, but if I supplied my name and address, they’d send me a copy. I did. The paper just arrived. It’s 74 pages (full color, nice production!) I’ll give it a read and report on any findings relevant to people doing family oral history.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 06, 2007 in • DigitalityLongevity
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Back from the Oakland Conference

I’m back from the Oakland Oral History Association conference, and overwhelmed with catch-up-to-do. There were too many good panels to attend. Some that touched on the topic of interviewing family, and others on dealing with digital media. I took copious notes (how else do you remember what happened in such a condensed, info-packed place?) and will be offering a couple of posts with session highlights.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on November 01, 2007 in • HousekeepingOral Historians
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