Covina library has digital storytelling station to collect stories about city’s 125-year history. Cool. It’s local, very local. I’ll go and see. It’s from a grant award. If it goes well, more of these may pop up in libraries in the State of California.
After winning a competitive grant from the California State Library this summer, the Covina Public Library received a “digital storytelling station,” a massive cabinet full of digital equipment valued at about $3,000.
The equipment, which includes a new Apple iMac computer, a digital camera, a printer, a scanner, a tape deck, a record player and a DVD player, was awarded to the library with the hope of documenting Covina’s history through the eyes of those who lived it.
“We are very excited about this great library program that uses cutting-edge information technology to explore and preserve California’s untold history,” said Susan Hildreth, state librarian of California. “We look ...Read More
Over there and Gone forever is a story about Frank Buckles, born 1901, the last surviving veteran of World War 1, found by writer Richard Rubin.
A few years ago, I set out to see if I could find any living American World War I veterans. No one — not the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Veterans of Foreign Wars, or the American Legion — knew how many there were or where they might be. As far as I could tell, no one much seemed to care, either.
Eventually, I did find some, including Frank Buckles, who was 102 when we first met. Eighty-six years earlier, he’d lied about his age to enlist. The Army sent him to England but, itching to be near the action, he managed to get himself sent on to France, though never to the trenches.
After the armistice, he was assigned to guard German prisoners waiting to be repatriated. Seeing ...Read More
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
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
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
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
“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
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.
David 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.
[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.
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.
The LA Times reviews the new memoir by Studs Terkel: Touch and Go. It’s about Studs Terkel’s amazing life.
“I have, after a fashion, been celebrated for having celebrated the lives of the uncelebrated among us; for lending voice to the face in the crowd,” Terkel, now 95, writes in “Touch and Go,” his new memoir. In a dozen books of oral history, including “The Good War” (about World War II), “Hard Times” (the Great Depression) and “Working” (the life of people on the job), Terkel has won an enduring place in American letters. “Touch and Go” is, not surprisingly, conversational and impressionistic.
In the SF Bay Area? Visit Rosie Riveter/World War II Homefront National Park this Sunday afternoon, Oct 28. It’s a wandery spot, so here are the definitive times to meet: 12:30 Rosie Memorial, 2:00 SS Red Oak Victory Ship ($5 tour donation).
I discovered this park while doing research for the War Stories Genealogy Carnival. Glad to discover it before a trip to the Bay Area.
The link to the Upcoming site has all the deets, links and way to RSVP (Upcoming uses a Yahoo sign-in). I’ll be in Bay Area for the Oral History Association conference, and will inviting people from the conference, as well as having invited some Bay Area web and software developers in the personal history/digital storytelling realm.