Video resources



Fabiano, Laurie. “History’s Attic: The Significance of Family Stories.” TED, Long Beach California, 26, Feb. 2014. Accessed 10 October 2016.

Author Laurie Fabiano’s dramatic and engaging short five minute and twenty-nine second 2014 TED talk discusses, “the transformative power of knowing your family history.” She recounts that learning her family history enabled her to love her grandmother and understand her family in the context of her Italian immigrant ancestors. She notes that family history is fragmented into puzzle pieces that are scattered in time and place. By realizing the role the mafia gang “The Back Hand” played in kidnapping her grandmother, and the tragedy and devastation of a massive earthquake in Italy’s impact on her family’s history, Fabiano argues history is made real and tangible. She asserts, “family history can help you better understand yourself, others and the past.” Finally, she argues that by crafting family narratives to pass down, individuals contribute stories to the broader history of humanity that focus on the voices and experiences of marginalized people who might be otherwise ignored. Fabiano is the president of a marketing and events company Fab Tool, an AIDS activist, and the Senior Vice President of the Robin Hood Foundation, a non-profit organized to fight poverty in New York City. She is the author of Elizabeth Street, the story of her Italian American immigrant ancestors’ struggle with the early Mafia. This short video illustrates the potential for family history to be a tool of enlightenment.




Reed, Audrie. “Family History Scrapbooking Talk at WDYTYA? Live Olympia 2013.” YouTube, Uploaded by Beautiful Memories TV, 6 Mar. 2013. Accessed 15 Nov. 2016.

This short fifteen minute YouTube video by English film producer Audrie Reed discusses scrapbooking,the hobby’s history,the types of materials used in scrapbooking, the type of information and documents to use, choosing themes and layouts, and the value of written stories. Reed raises the important question of what families who inherit genealogical research will make of it without context or narrative to aid in sense and meaning making. Reed owns Beautiful Memories TV, a business based in Cambridge England that produces short family history videos, tribute videos and video wills among other products.  Reed argues that scrapbooking is a fun and interactive activity that the entire family can enjoy, that the books themselves are conversation starters and that they are an excellent way to preserve family history for future generations.This video provides a comprehensive overview in a short amount of time. Individuals curious about the value of this form of storytelling will be informed by its content and perhaps inspired to create their own scrapbook.


“Scrapbooking is a creative way to preserve your family history in an album.” – Audrie Reed

Scott, Katie. “Scrapbooking Family History: Lizzie Borden Family Tree.” YouTube, uploaded by Katie Scott’s Kiss and Tell Scrapbooking YouTube Channel, 8 Feb. 2015, www. 

Katie Scott, a lawyer and scrapbooking enthusiast, is the creator of Kiss and Tell Scrapbooking, a blog, and the Kiss and Tell Scrapbooking YouTube Channel. In this one hour and seventeen minute video, she demonstrates how to create a family history narrative in scrapbook form. She begins by demonstrating how she uses DNA results to find interesting stories among the over 20,000 members of her every growing online family tree. The first twenty five to thirty minutes allows viewers to watch as she explores information on the ancestry website. Approximately thirty minutes into the video, she demonstrates how to create a book like layout about the life of her second-cousin Lizzie Borden (the notorious nineteenth century accused murderer)  , who has an undeniably interesting story to tell.


Simon, Taryn. “The Stories Behind the Bloodlines.” TED, London, Fall 2011. Accessed 25 September 2016.

In this lecture, photographer Taryn Simon, who has been dubbed by Sean O’Hagan writing in the Observer (for the Guardian) as possibly the “most important photographer” of her generation, discusses her multi-media project “A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters.” Collision of order and disorder are at the heart of the project which examines how the nature of genealogy and how external forces (governments, territorial conflict, geography) and internal forces (genetic and psychological inheritance in bloodlines) converge to create individual and family history. It involves three components: photographs of family groups (or bloodlines), a text panel in scroll form that constructs the narrative, and a footnote panel, in which fragments of story elements are presented in nonlinear form. Simon’s archive of photographs, material objects and context is comprised of family stories that span the globe. The exploration this project engages in raises many large complex questions about how individuals and families see themselves, how outside forces shape them and patterns are constructed and perpetuated, as well as lost. Simon, a graduate of Brown University and a Guggenheim Fellow, is a multidisciplinary artist whose works have been featured in the most prestigious art galleries in the world. The eighteen- minute TED talk features the artist’s description of her work in her own words, images from the work and discussion of the larger themes and ambitions of the project. It offers a cerebral and emotional perspective on family history, touching on philosophical issues and larger contexts that shape family stories. By highlighting the ways gaps are just as important as known information and providing example of context, Simon’s talk offers insight into ways family historians might curate their own family narratives.

Works Cited


Fabiano, Laurie. Elizabeth Street. Mariner Books, 2011.

O’Hagan, Sean. “Taryn Simon, the Woman in the Picture.The Guardian, 21 May 2011. Accessed 10 Oct. 2016.