Interviews, Research & Archiving, oh my!
August 18, 2009 12:06 PM Subscribe
I'm preparing for a massive personal archiving/interviewing trip with my grandparents and need advice regarding many aspects of the project.
posted by ikahime to Human Relations (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My grandparents came to America from Lithuania during WWII and have an amazing story that my cousin and I started documenting several years ago. Life being what it is, we really only got a rough outline and are now going for another week long visit with them (now 97 and 90 years old, but still witty and spry). Not only do they have some great/astounding anecdotes that we haven't documented, they also have an amazing collection of photos (some taken by Life Magazine photographers) which are in not such good order (to say nothing of being stored or digitally preserved).
Here are some of my concerns that perhaps y'all could help me with:
History: I'm not a historian, and so have been trying to bone up on the Soviet-Nazi conflict that took place in the Baltic States. Books and online resource recommendations are appreciated.
Preservation: I need to construct a good workflow for organizing/digitizing old photos. How best to store? Should I be uploading to the cloud, or bring an external hard drive with me?
Interview: Getting these stories out of them is not usually too hard, but I'm wondering about tried and true methods of biographical interview. Should we march thru the historical timeline? Jump around and organize later? Are there some good prompts I shouldn't forget to ask them?
Documentation: I would like to either film or audio record or both. I will probably have access to a decent microphone + laptop and a so-so digital video camera. Should I have both roll at the same time, or just favor one vs. the other? This is my weakest link. Is Audacity a good enough program, or should I be throwing down for something else?
In addition to doing this for my own (and my family's) edification, I'm gathering this info now for some sort of creative project in the future (still yet to work out - could be something as mundane as a book, or more outlandish like an interactive sculpture, or hyperlinked map). I've started making things like timelines and maps of their trip from Lith to Germany to Britain to the US; got any other ideas of rich add-ons?
Lastly, I'm looking for other media to bring with me that may enhance their reminiscing, especially music of the era/region (they were in Germany for quite a few years in the late 40s. Got some faves?
Thanks to all in advance!