What you say reinforces a thought I was just about to voice. One real
growth area in our appreciation of the past is the study of family history
as witness programmes like Who Do You Think You Are?) What this does is to
make the past relevant to individuals. Whether it is WW2, our mining
heritage, burial patterns in medieval churches, when you are looking at it
the perspective of YOUR family it suddenly comes alive. It is this
identification with the past that we need to foster - the reality of the
For so many people, the past is seen as something either dead and gone in a
glass case or a sort of fantasy world full of gaudy colour and flashing
steel - in either case utterly irrelevant to the day to day realities. The
realisation that the past is peopled with one's own family engaging in a
every bit as real and difficult as our own can open immense enthusiasm for
the past in general and heritage /archaeology in particular.
I couldn't agree more with what you say.
A couple of years ago my wife and I made a multimedia presentation for our
village on their Idrettslag (athletic organisation) in Norway.
It is one of the oldest in Norway even at a young age of 100 years old.
We filmed athletic stars and media personalities congratulating them on
their birthday. Just went to the national broadcasting company with a camera
and had the cheak to ask.. youd be surprised how many wanted to get
Interviewed people in their 60,s 70's and 80's and tracked down old
recordings and went through the whole history of the club through the years.
There were things there for everyone and all ages including displays of old
skis and clothes and how they had changed over the years.
The place was packed.. you couldn't get a seat. The children just sat there
for three hours completely immersed in history and interactive involvement.
Being an event manager gave me the advantage with contacts for big screens
and other technical stuff... all donated.
Local companies joined in and sponsored other things.... because they were a
part of the "village family".
Now we have a documentary that is stored with the interviews of people past
and gone, some who will not be here in a couple of years but their memories
are stored forever. Imagine sending out school children on projects to
record the memories of the old people, the war and their villages history.
That is creating an interest in history, a respect for the older generation
and pride in their own areas.