www.personalhistorians.orgPersonal Historians

Enriching lives for generations to come by preserving life stories.

The Association of Personal Historians (APH), an international organization whose mission is to help people preserve life stories and memories through networking, training and support of personal historians, fosters personal history activities and projects throughout the world.

APH was founded in 1995 by baby boomer journalist, Kitty Axelson-Berry. Not wanting to lose the wisdom and experiences of her mother’s generation – “The Greatest Generation” – she decided to leave the newspaper business and write her mother’s life story.  Innovative creative thinking and a positive attitude reflects that of the boomer generation. Axelson-Berry took a risk of reinventing herself by using her mother’s life story as motivation for the prototype for a start-up business in memoirs and family histories. She located like-minded people, formed a group held its first meeting in an 18th-century New England Inn and now the organization’s membership has grown to more than 600 people worldwide.  Each fall, the group holds its annual meeting and networking conference in a different city within North America and speakers represent the fields of business, academia, psychology, healthcare, and the media.

The APH website lists members by regions and areas of expertise, while providing a wealth of information about the organization and personal history resources. The association maintains a Listserv and a Forum allowing members to communicate daily. APH members have had successful careers as journalists, broadcasters, social workers, attorneys, physicians, hospice volunteers, geriatric specialists, court reporters, medical transcribers, psychologists, teachers, graphic artists, engineers, and managers who all are connected by the belief in the importance of discovering, preserving, and sharing stories. Personal histories can be created in books, CD-ROMs, DVDs, scrapbooks, quilts, and websites. Mentors advise how to research, interpret, and write about their own personal histories. This includes techniques of interviewing, transcribing, editing, revising, and preparing for publication or broadcast. The print and broadcast media has focused attention recently on APH members and their activities. APH provides a multitude of resources for both professionals and the do- it- yourself-ers, and we believe boomers will find this an invaluable website to preserve their own family history, especially because of all the new technologies available.  For inspiration, pick up a copy of the APH Anthology featuring 49 stories.

Boomer Axelson-Berry is giving back and making a difference – her risk-taking is another of the many reinvention stories we are hearing about. We highly recommend this fabulous website to everyone wishing to preserve their unique family heritage and create an enduring and lasting journey through time.