Monday, 27 June 2011

The Memory Library

I've had Peter Gelardi from The Memory Library ( in touch to inform me about this online family memory archive site, launched in February 2011, which allows for the creation of family history timelines, the storage of photos, video clips etc. There are similar sites around, but this one seems at face value to be as good as others in terms of its offerings in terms of online storage. The site has three paid basic subscriptions (bronze, silver and gold) at various rates and with various levels of storage and other perks. There is also a free taster subscription offering just 8MB of storage, known as the LITE membership, which can host between 10 and 50 photos, depending on file size, and 8 minutes of video. If you are worried about the lifetime of the website and the permanency of your archive, you can also create a DVD once the timeline is completed.

You can also add a recorded interview to the site, using an online 'autocue' based set up which you can use from home in conjunction with a webcam, where you can prime yourself with the next question. I must admit that having previously spent years interviewing people for telly documentaries, at first I was going to hold a bible up to this and shout out 'Never' as high as my lungs would scream it, as autocues are used mainly for presented pieces to camera. But if you're recording your interview to a webcam this is actually what you'll be doing, and the site does offer some useful advice on how to use this method if you wish, including getting a friend to interview you to make it a more natural conversation. There's a well structured guide to this on the site at

Additional more professional options include having the project visit your house to carry out an interview (or you visit a studio), and to have an edited version of this provided also, though the costs are dearer than those advertised for areas more than 50 miles from London. No idea how that transfers to Scotland! There is no indication on the site (that I can see) as to who the videographers might be, though the online video guides and interview examples are well produced and executed.

Well worth a look, and the BBC Radio 4 interview from Archive on 4 in April (hosted on the site) is worth listening to also as this provides a more interactive demo.

(With thanks to Peter Gelardi)

UPDATE - for Scotland, I've been informed that the additional cost for the interview service etc would currently be about £100 on top of the advertised price to bring the site's videographer up, though it is envisaged that a video 'cell' will be established in due course in Glasgow, at which point the cost will disappear. Also, keep an eye on the site for a half price offer in the next few days on this front. (Thanks again to Peter)


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