All of us in our
daily life come across people who have significant stories to tell. It may be a
parent or grandparent or family acquaintance. Or it may be a neighbour, a friend
or a member of a social group. Often these stories are at risk of being lost
We came across many such stories when we were researching our book Flood Fire
and Fever: The History of Elwood. Much of Elwood’s history resides in the
memory of older members of the community. They provide great insight into the
challenges of life in the past, contributions made to the community and even
substantial changes made to the landscape of Elwood that we see today.
It was the fear of losing such precious stories that prompted the St Kilda
Historical Society to record these personal histories in this small volume with
the assistance of historian Julie Shiels. The City of Port Phillip generously
assisted with funding for the project.
The personal histories were recorded on a digital voice recorder and then
summarised into the concise accounts in this volume. The full recordings can be
accessed at the St Kilda Historical Society, at the St Kilda Library.
This small publication is also intended to encourage others to record valuable
stories, which may be lost to future generations. It includes sections with
advice and resources to do so. Fortunately the practical means of preserving
these stories have become easier than ever.
The simplest and one of the best methods of recording have worked well for
thousands of years: pen and paper. Recorded stories in print or on tape can be
filed in your local library with an ISBN number that enables everyone in
Australia to find it if they wish.
Digital voice recorders are everywhere, every second teenager or adult has an
MP3 recorder, which records voices as well as music. An iPOD becomes a high
quality voice recorder when a microphone attachment is purchased. The great
thing is that the recorded digital files can be kept on computers, emailed to
friends or put on the internet for the world to hear.
Even digital cameras can record sound and moving images. And the cost of video
cameras is falling…
There is no excuse for delay. Do you know of a valuable story in danger of being
lost to all future generations? Act now!!
St Kilda Historical Society