How to Preserve an Oral Heirloom


During your interviews, ask what songs were popular or have them sing the lullaby they once whispered to your parent.
During your interviews, ask what songs were popular or have them sing the lullaby they once whispered to your parent.
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Preserving your history through storytelling is one of the oldest forms of documentation around -- it even predates the written word. But it's also one with a decidedly modern twist, thanks to a reliance on digital technology.

Today, documenting oral history has transitioned from the realm of casually woven tales to pointed interviews bent on deciphering particular past events. Whether you're interviewing your grandmother to understand her personal experiences or querying a group of people to gain their perspectives about life during a specific time, all family stories have this in common: They're a vital part of recorded history, as important as written or photographed accounts.

Not only can an oral heirloom become part of your family's tradition, but those who study folklore or examine ethnic groups listen to these historical snapshots to uncover clues about the past.