There are many ways to share family history. Some like to collect letters, or speak with older relatives and write down what they say. Others like to use audio recordings to create a bank of narratives of family stories. Still others simply like to collect photos and carefully place them in photo albums, with a short note or entry included.
All of these methods alone are great – they are attempts to preserve the past. But all of these methods alone still fall short of truly capturing a family’s history.
The best of all three worlds would be to have a written document, with audio recordings available, and photos included for easy browsing. Now, some might say that video accomplishes this task. However, who has time to sit through a video? Who really wants to? Videos are something like slideshows of the past. In a bygone era, people used to take photo slides of their vacations. Then, they’d invite friends and neighbors over to view their hours long presentation. Virtually no one enjoyed those sessions.
Video is much the same way. Even sites like YouTube feature videos that are extremely short – at the most three to five minutes. After that, you lose everyone’s interest.
So, if you can’t really show a video that’s much longer than five minutes and expect everyone to pay attention, how are you going to record the entire history of a family on video?
That’s why easy photo printing sites are so important when it comes to preserving memories. However, most of those only allow you to upload photos and write some text about the photos.
You can create a lovely story book or photo album complete with pictures and written words. You can have these printed, and delivered to family members who can review them in their free time, at a pace they are comfortable with. When you visit their homes, you can sit with them and – perhaps over a cup of coffee – you can look at your family’s history and reminisce to your hearts’ content.
That’s great … but you’re still only two-thirds of the way there. You still have to capture the audio.
There are very few sites that allow you to add audio to your photos. Search “easy photo sharing” or “easy photo printing” to find some.
Now, some people may not want to create audio stories. It can be difficult to get the recordings you need. However, saving some voices is better than saving none. Imagine hearing the voice of your grandfather again, telling one of your favorite stories that you remember from childhood, or perhaps giving you words of wisdom that may have been lost to memory.
Whether you decide to include audio in your family history or not, at least you know the resource is available. The most important thing is that you preserve family memories that are precious to you, and will be even more precious to your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
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