Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Personal History?

Known also as a memoir or biography, a personal history may be a collection of stories, photographs, genealogies, and other artifacts brought together to tell one's story in a video, book, or multimedia production. These become treasured heirlooms over the years and are a rich source of information to future generations interested in their ancestry. Personal histories document much information about the subject's life as well as the subject's family.

What is a Company History?

Generally, a Company History chronicles the formation of the Company and elaborates the principles of the founders. It may be used for executive training, marketing, and employee education. Company Histories are produced as video and print publications as well as special productions such as lobby displays.

How much does it cost to produce a Personal History?

Much depends on the size and scope of the project and the format in which the final product will be published, whether print, video or audio. Your Personal Historian will work with you to establish a budget for your project as well as a suitable payment schedule.

Can I do it myself?

The technologies available today make it possible to record high quality video and audio as well as produce excellent quality published materials, so you certainly can do it yourself and produce your own Personal History project. This is an excellent project for those who have the time to dedicate to learning how to use these technologies and apply them to the production of video DVDs, audio CDs or perfect bound books. The Personal History Center occasionally hosts workshops teaching the use of these technologies. The Center uses professional grade video and audio equipment that may have certain capabilities not available in typical consumer or "prosumer" video and audio gear. Center staff has extensive experience with the finer points of production such as lighting and audio which have a significant impact on the quality of the production. The Personal History Center is ready to serve those who are not do-it-yourselfers, or who do not wish to learn the technologies and want the assurance that their project will be completed and will be completed in a timely manner. Workshop scheduling depends on demand. Those interested in a workshop should contact the Center for dates.

Can Photographs Be Included in a Personal History video?

Yes. We will work with you to determine which photos to include in the video. Often the images can be shown with the subject's voice describing the events associated with the photo.

I have some damaged photographs. Can you restore them?

In many cases, yes. Photographs can be scanned digitally and restored using the scanned copy, so your originals are safe. The restored images may be used in your video Personal History project as well as for production of photographic prints and enlargements.

Can a video be produced from audio recordings?

Yes. By combining photographs and stock video with the audio it is possible to produce a documentary style video.

Where do I tell my Personal History story?

Your Personal History will be recorded as either audio or video, depending on the desired end product. The recording sessions take place in a comfortable, quiet location, often the subject's home. Recording sessions are one and a half to two hours. The number of sessions depend on the scope and size of the project.

How long will it take to receive my books or video DVDs?

Delivery time depends on a number of factors, but the typical lead time for Personal Histories will be three to six months. Tributes, ethical wills and other small projects have much shorter delivery times. Due to the special nature of many of these projects the Center will work with you to arrive at a suitable delivery date.