Now in its tenth year, Preservation Week April 26 – May 20, 2020 promotes the role of libraries, and other institutions in preserving personal and public collections, and treasures. This year’s theme is preserving oral histories. An oral history is a recorded interview of an individual with personal knowledge of past events; for example, an interview with a WWII veteran about his or her wartime experiences. Oral histories are an important way for historians to gather first hand accounts of events to preserve for future generations. Genealogists too can use oral history as a way to document family history and capture memories before they are lost. If you are interested in knowing more about your ancestors, don’t wait until it’s too late. Start interviewing your family members now. Anyone can conduct an oral interview and FamilySearch.org has a wonderful wiki article detailing how to do so.
All of us are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, so this might be a great starting point for conducting an oral interview with your relatives, which you can then preserve for your children, grandchildren, and future generations. Do you have a health care worker in your family who is on the front lines of the pandemic, or a relative in high school who is missing his or her senior prom? Everyone has a story to tell because we are all experiencing the pandemic in our own way. Nothing is too mundane. It’s important to record these stories for your own personal history, your family history, and for the history of our community.
If you’d like to share your story, think about including it in the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System’s COVID-19 Community Documentation Project. Learn more about the project here: