As you collect the stories of your life, it’s helpful to use memory joggers. A memory jogger is simply anything that evokes a response related to your life experience. Joggers are invaluable in fleshing out the details of your life story.
Now is the time to locate and collect as many of these memory joggers as you can. Here’s a list of things to look for:
• Scrapbooks. Remember, too, that others may have scrapbooks with information useful to you.
• Photo albums
• High school and college yearbooks
• Journals or diaries
• Baby books. These are very popular with mothers and grandmothers. Check yours.
• Report cards. Besides tracking courses and performance, they often include teachers’ comments.
• Other school items. Class pictures, class rings, programs, etc.
• Old letters and greeting cards
• Legal documents. Marriage licenses, birth certificates, tax records, property records, divorce decrees, adoption papers, military records.
• Church records
• Genealogy or family history work done by others
• Family movies or videotapes
• Family items that have been passed on from earlier generations
You’ll use these memory joggers extensively as you organize your life story.
Tomorrow: Examining the big events in your life.
This is Lesson No. 5 of a mini-course on how to write a personal history. The course will continue throughout May, which is Personal History Month. To get future lessons delivered to you, you may subscribe to our RSS feed or get e-mail delivery to your inbox. It’s easy. Details can be found in the column to the left of this post.