Do it: Yourself

StoryCorps now has a Rent-A-Storykit

Boys and Girls, do try this at home!! Storycorps has a Rent a StoryKit. Minidisc recorder, two discs, microphone, headphone and users guide. $100/week. Requires $500 deposit.

This is pretty smart. They have the equipment, send it to you, tell you how to do the conversation, you do it, send it back, and they create the Audio CD and send that to you, and a copy goes to the American Folklife collection at the Library of Congress.

Why is it smart? All the benefit of the studio in the trailer experience, and you don’t have to go shopping for equipment and puzzling over the options. Also good if StoryCorps hasn’t come to town, or if StoryCorps came to town right after the holidays and by the time you found out about it, It Was Too Late.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on February 27, 2006 in • AudioAudio: HardwareDo it: Yourself
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Memory Miner: Family History App for Mac OS

MemoryMiner is a MacOS app that’s more than the means to annotate your collection of family photos: It provides options for identifying people and their relationships, the time and place of photo, or places a person has lived or a person’s life. Echoing the interconnectedness of person, places and events, the software builds up a in order to build up a portrait of a person and family relationships. Further, it has the ability to attach audio files to pictures. Hooray! Now my Mom, who won’t learn to type, but is the repositor of family info, can “talk about” the photo and date and time, and not be held back by the tangle of fingers and keyboards.

I watched the demo movie once—it requires QuickTime 7, it would seem. Which I used to view the movie elsewhere, but not at this machine. Anyway, it was an amazing demo movie. Here are pictures of a person. For each, you identify who the person is, what relationship the person is to you (Grandmother, Aunt, Great-Aunt, etc.), when the picture was taken—specific time or approximate. You can draw marquees around different people in the photograph to identify more than one person to a photo. View photos of one person, or this person and that person. Drop an audio file (and thereby link it) to an image. Or create a text annoation of the image. Further, you can identify places where photos ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on January 18, 2006 in • Do it: YourselfFamily History SoftwarePhotographs
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Judith Moyer’s step by step guide to doing Oral History

Step-by-Step Guide to Oral History. She begins with the best word of advice there is: Just Do It, and follows with lots of practicalities.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on December 20, 2005 in • Do it: YourselfLinks
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Podcasting our personal history together

Podcasting our personal history together: “How does podcasting fit into the oral history picture?” Kevin Lim at the Educational Technology Center at Buffalo muses on the intersection of podcasting and oral history.

He’s seen the StoryCorps booth at Grand Central Station and he’s been helping some professors put together a web site for their oral history, and it’s got him thinking about ways to incorporate podcasting and oral history.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on December 19, 2005 in • Do it: YourselfLinks
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Listening ear

The State, South Carolina (03/15/2005) Collecting Oral Histories

The most effective tool in collecting an oral history, besides a working tape recorder, is a listening ear, according to Converse College history professor Melissa Walker.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on March 15, 2005 in • Do it: YourselfInterviewing
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Transom Tools: SHOUT OUT - A Kid’s Guide to Recording Stories

This page on is a guide (for kids) on how to collect stories. It’s offered as a downloadable PDF, too.

Collecting stories is easier than you think. Find a park bench or front porch. Invite your grandmother, your friend, or coach to join you. And listen.

That’s the key. In the listening, you will hear stories that people often keep to themselves - that we don’t slow down enough to hear. These stories can be truer and more important than many things we hear on radio, see on TV or read in the newspaper.

This booklet will help you gather those stories. It is an introduction to spoken history.

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on March 14, 2005 in • Do it: YourselfInterviewing
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