Don’t you love that phrase? I came across it in the written minutes of old-time meetings and it’s so evocative, it made me look up some info on how YOU can let it be remembered by guiding someone to create an oral history to be remembered.
But I’ll be you have lots of questions on how to get started.
First up, how do I get someone to talk about their participation in past times? What on earth do I ask?
As the Minnesota History Center says, “Oral history is a conversation, with the narrator doing the lion’s share of the talking. The interviewer needs to prepare questions that will help each narrator tell his or her story.”
Many locally-famous folks have been interviewed for their personal story*, but your parents’ stories, or that neighbor whose life tale has some amazing twists in it, are worthy of being recorded too. Take a look at these sites:
- The Smithsonian has, of course, a terrific PDF on questions to ask and more.
- And here’s a full booklet on the topic that you can download!
- Up there in Minnesota, there’s plenty of snow-bound time to record oral histories.
- And, of course, there’s a website for that. With an extensive resource list.