personal-history based works
the-history-editor will help you create print versions, including scripts, of personal histories that will allow your family snapshots, letters, diaries, and notes to serve a purpose: to preserve your life, your life lessons, and your legacy. Sadly, you only get one chance to successfully preserve them.
Did you ever think that those silly tape recordings you helped “direct” on Christmas morning or over Thanksgiving dinner could become a lasting legacy? Did you know that your story and life lessons could be preserved and passed along in a series of stories? Have you thought about how your family would react to a bound and printed memoir or an autobiography based on your life, your experiences, and your life lessons?
What if you added collages of photographs, a few maps to trace your steps, and even a scattering of relevant social history to explain why you did what you did when you did it? Or, can you think of a better way for your family snapshots, correspondence, love letters, messages, calendars, diaries, and notes to serve a purpose? After all, in too many cases, you only get one chance to successfully preserve your legacy.
Personal history to the rescue!
Yes, the profession of personal historian does exist—however, you should not just grab any old person off the street to help you. Even we “professionals” don’t claim to know how to best preserve every moment for every person . . . or family . . . or business. That’s right: even families and businesses have “personal” histories.
My specialties are in helping to create print versions of histories . . . or, if you want to prepare a script for a video or audio presentation or for your multi-media show, I’d be quite able and quite happy to help you out. A photo album or video program with captions? An autobiography? I can do it. A memoir? You’ve found a good ghostwriter/editor and a good team to assist you!
The growth of my passion for personal histories
I’ve discussed, to a degree, the beginning of my interests in history on a previous page. Now, to continue on those thoughts about what constitutes “real” versus real history . . .
Later in my professional life, I met people who felt the same way about history that I did. I described that journey (and, what a journey it was) in this blog post, Your memories to memoirs, or a personal history, so I won’t go into the details again, but that’s when I found out that the history I wanted to research, preserve, and pass on was known as social history and that social history was indeed as important and necessary to the stories of history as I had always hoped it was.
My kind of history, social history, is validated!
The discovery that social history was valid enabled me to start helping clients with personal histories, family histories, and corporate or business histories. At last I was helping make history interesting, and making it relevant and logical, to more people. I was helping so-called average joes and josephines—not just families whose names were on town markers and buildings and street signs—to realize that they and their ancestors had impacted history and been an active and integral part of the past.
But, social history can’t stand alone
Not surprisingly, as social history became more accepted in the teaching of history, we discovered that, just as facts and records should not stand alone without stories, neither should stories stand alone without facts and records. In other words, no matter how many times Aunt Thelma tells that story from her childhood, it may not be totally accurate—it needs to be fact-checked and verified. Granted, it’s still probably a good story but facts are facts.
Social history’s most important use is setting the scene for a memory and enabling listeners and readers to understand why the story evolved the way it did.
- how did accepted circumstances help lead to an event?
- how did attitudes of people at the time make an event a logical “next step”?
- what was happening in everyday life that allowed events to occur the way they did at the time they did?
That’s where the knowledge of a history editor can help you. Together, we’ll look behind the scenes, and work with the pieces of the puzzle, so that your family occurrences make sense.
Do you have a piece of personal history you want to preserve? or some family history that you want to record? Sadly, a day will come when the time is too late . . .
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