by Terry Burton, Digital Media Coordinator
We recently held our first workshop session for the Fort Collins Memory Project (see the post from April 1st for more information about the project). On April 18th, we spent all day with six different people from the community who came in to share their stories of immigration. Participants brought in photos, documents, and objects which we photographed and scanned; we recorded audio snippets from each participant explaining the various elements of their story; and then combined everything into an interactive slideshow using Memory Miner. All in an hour and a half to create each story! Each workshop participant left with a CD of their slideshow, which will also become part of the Museum’s Local History Archive.
We are also publishing these stories on our website, one story at a time, over the next few weeks. The first story is from Kirsten Hovorka, who traces her family back to Denmark and England. You can see her slideshow here. Click any of the thumbnail images to see a larger photo. Many of the slides have audio, too; in the blue box to the right, click the underlined link to listen to Kirsten’s recollections.
The workshop was a great experience — it’s always a gift when someone shares their story with you. Our stories are all so various, and yet we hear in each of them something that resonates with our own. Because we only had an hour and a half to put together each story, we had to put limits on the process, which created another interesting dimension — to see what people chose to show and talk about, given that they had to “edit” their story into a small space. Rather than a comprehensive family story, what we created together were very personal windows into people’s lives. Because history is more than dates and names; everyone’s history has a heart.