Nowadays, oral history is not so often passed down from generation to generation, with children sitting and listen to their “elders” from early childhood on. We’re too busy with school and after-school activities, then with further education, work and interests...and we often don’t even live near, let alone with, our older generations. Life moves too fast and one day, when we stop and wonder where we came from, our elders may no longer be around.
However, we also live in an age of wonderful and reasonably cheap technology, so it’s easier than ever to record and share memories, photos etc from our family’s past.
This Instructable gives some ideas that I’ve tried out successfully with the elders in my family. I wish I had started years ago, but I’ve started now, and that’s what counts. I’ve met with such enthusiasm from family members and others I’ve spoken to that I thought I’d share my experiences.
You can use this method with your oldest family members or an elderly friend who has stories to tell; or if you are part of an organisation (school, club etc) that has been around for a while, you could record the “early days” of the organisation as told by former/older members.
Step 1: What You Need
a) Willing elders – don’t discount the very old, as often they think about the past a lot, and may have much clearer memories of their childhood than you do of yours!
b) Recording device – digital voice recorder, camera with video function, tape recorder, e even pen and paper... see Step 2; also a computer with a burner and DVDs etc to store and share the results of your project
c) Prompts – photos, questions etc- see Step 3.