**Don’t forget to vote on my poll: How long have you been a personal historian? Click here to vote.**
If video personal histories appeal to you but your experience with video production is limited, help is just a click away! You’ll find a wealth of valuable resources in these five sites.
- Videomaker: “This is the place to start for videography training. Here you will find hundreds of articles about audio/video software, video editing hardware, and help with video lighting techniques.”
- Video 101: “Offers tutorials on the fundamentals of film and video production. Includes video clips, flash animations, and explanations.”
- VideoUniversity. “Hundreds of free articles for new and advanced videographers. Here’s a sample: 50 Ways To Improve Your Video Business; Video Art – An Introduction; Audio for Video — Part 1 Tape Formats and Hardware; Audio For Video – Part 2 Microphones & Techniques; Audio For Video – Part 3 Audio Production Techniques.”
- MediaCollege. “… a free educational website for all forms of electronic media. We have hundreds of exclusive tutorials covering video & television production, audio work, photography, graphics, web design and more.”
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The beginning of new school year got me thinking. My learning these days is hit and miss. I learn on the run, sandwiching it between my daily tasks. You’re probably like me – scrambling to learn how to use a new piece of software or how to scan photos properly or whatever.
But I have a plan. I’m dedicating September to setting aside time to learn one new thing that will be useful in my personal history work. In my case that’s learning how to run online courses.
So here’s a challenge to all you personal historians. Is there a new skill you could learn this month that would make you a better personal historian? Let me know by leaving me a comment below. Love to hear from you.
To give you some inspiration, I’ve selected several online sites that cover an array of courses and guides. Hopefully, they’ll whet your appetite. My thanks to fellow personal historian Pat McNees for recommending some of these sites.
- Step-by-Step Guide to Oral History: “As a door into the world of oral history, these pages give basic suggestions for collecting and preserving the valuable oral treasures around you, to enrich you and future generations.”
- Oral History Workshop on The Web: The Institute for Oral History at Baylor University offers workshops on: Introduction to Oral History, Digital Oral History, Transcribing Style Guide, The Heart of Oral History: How to Interview, and more.
- How to Create Your Own Online Course: “Resources to help you discover how to combine both what you have to offer and what you wish to gain by guiding you through creating and establishing an online course. No matter what age of student, subject you want to teach, or size of the class, you will find resources and information to bring your class online.”
- Vermont Folklife Center Archive: Field Research Guides: The Center provides online access to a series of research guides on: Digital Audio Field Recording Equipment Guide, Field Recording in the Digital Age, Digital Editing of Field Audio, and Resources on the Preservation of Materials in Ethnographic and Oral History Collections.
- How to Guides for Your Business: Work.com “helps small business decision-makers solve their most pressing business problems and realize their most compelling opportunities.”
Photo by Philip Howard
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UC Davis Arboretum
The University of California Extension Division at Davis is offering an online certificate course in Oral History Methods. You can find out more by clicking here. This is the 9th year the course has been offered.
The instructor is Kristin Delaplane Conti, a former San Francisco Chronicle columnist. She has produced and published histories and biographies for families, individuals, organizations and museums since 1990. She has also taught workshops at the University of California and other venues.
Here’s what Conti has to say about her course:
Apply this practical guide of oral history methods and techniques to your history projects, whether you want a record for your family, a museum, historical society or business. Learn to document the experiences of someone who has personally experienced or observed a period, event or trend of historical interest. Interviews will emphasize significant participation, changes observed and accounts that highlight the particular era or events, and you’ll learn how to present them in a historical context. Find out how to use recording and transcribing equipment, as well as options on publishing and archiving. Enrollment is limited to 15 students, so early registration is advised.
Registration closes on February 4th, so if your interested go to this link and register now.
Photo by Ivan Kozik
Enthusiasm for writing your memoir may soon be replaced by a sinking feeling when you realize that you don’t know where to start and how to proceed. Memoirs are considered to be somewhat different from autobiographies. Brian A. Klems, the online managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine points out:
In some general contexts, memoir and autobiography can be used interchangeably. In fact, Amazon.com puts them in the same category. But there’s a key difference that publishers use to define each—the timeline covered in the writing.
An autobiography focuses on the chronology of the writer’s entire life while a memoir covers one specific aspect of the writer’s life. So, if I chose to write about my complete life up to this point—including growing up in Cincinnati, my time in New York, the few years I spent in Chicago and eventually landing at Writer’s Digest—I’d write an autobiography. If wrote a book about the winter of my sophomore year in high school where I got my tongue stuck to an icy pole, I’d write a memoir
If it’s a memoir you’re, then a great way to get started is to take a course. In many communities you can find workshops and courses on memoir writing. If you’d rather do it from the comfort of your home, I’ve assembled a list of four online memoir writing courses. I can’t vouch for any of these because I haven’t used them but check them out. I’m sure you’ll find a course that fits your needs.
- The Story Circle Network has been offering classes, workshops, conferences, writing and reading circles, and online programs—all designed for women—since 1997.
- Memoir: The “Eye” and the “I”. Stanford Continuing Studies. “In this course you will learn how to unearth significant material and bring your memories to life on the page.”
- Online Memoir Writing Classes. Gotham Writer’s Workshop. “You will learn how to focus your life stories, give them literary purpose, and apply such craft elements as character, plot, description, dialogue, setting, pacing, and theme. You will also learn how and where to market your work.”
Photo by F. Delventhal