Special Editions Customized Biographies

Frequently Asked Questions

What is personal history?

Personal history is the preservation of a person’s life story, memoirs, or life values in printed form or on audiotape, videotape, CD or DVD.

What is a personal historian?

A personal historian records and preserves people’s memoirs and life stories.

How does personal history differ from genealogy?

A personal historian records a person’s life stories and experiences, whereas genealogists research and record a person’s descent from his or her ancestors.

What’s the purpose? Why would anyone be interested in my life story?

Every person’s life is interesting. Wouldn’t you like to know what your great-grandparents’ lives were really like—in their own words? No matter how ordinary you might think your life is, it’s extraordinary to your descendants and to future researchers. As Mark Twain said, “There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside the dullest exterior, there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.”

How much does a personal history cost?

Prices vary widely, depending upon the length of the interviews, the services you need and the end result you want. They may range from several hundred dollars to many thousands for a complex biography, a large family or company history, or an intricate video production. A personal history project can be crafted to fit your budget. Often several family members who believe in the importance of preserving their family’s legacy can share the cost.

We don't live in the same area, how are we going to work with you?

Our clients are located all around the country. We can come to you and use technology to bridge the distance with phone interviews, email, faxes and the Internet. We completed one book project without ever having face-to-face contact with our client. However, when interviewing is an integral part of your project, it is always more productive and effective to have eye-to-eye contact.

What if I tell you something that I don't want included in the book?

Your project and its contents are your descretion. If you share something that you later feel uncomfortable with, it will be deleted at your request. All information is kept confidential.

Paula Slavens is a member of the Association of Personal Historians. Some of the above information is extracted from their Web site at: www.personalhistorian.org
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Revised August 2009
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