Storyvault.com: oral history for the masses
NDotM notes with interest the launch of storyvault.com, an innovative social history and genealogy networking website.
Set up by Stuart Prebble, the former ITV chief executive, the site allows users to upload, record and share their own unique personal histories.
The website also offers first-hand accounts of historic events, including video interviews with the WWI veteran Henry Allingham, who died in July, and Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the Titanic.
Prebble rightly argues that storyvault.com- and oral history participation in general- encourages an interest in wider history for school children.
Oral history work has already been incorporated into the national curriculum for 10-year olds but more needs to be done to promote and support it among the adult population.
NDotM strongly believes in the importance of documenting the nation’s oral histories. There is surely no better time to undertake such a task than during a period of such abundant surplus labour.
And so, NDotM has been working with various organisations including the British Library and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council to devise strategies for supporting the thousands of amateur oral historians in Britain.
By combining eyewitness accounts of history with modern online social media interaction, websites such as storyvault.com can have a highly positive effect on local and national community cohesion and can help establish a cultural legacy for the nation.
What’s more, storyvault.com is free to access. Prebble is keen to maintain the website’s public service function, and has been in deliberation with the BBC about how storyvault.com can be developed further within such a remit.
NDotM will follow storyvault.com’s progress with a keen eye.