Tree thumbnailMemoirs can provide vivid details of the past and present a memory that tells the reality of a time.

Elizabeth Enstam explains the value of memoirs when writing about and interpreting local history in this Technical Leaflet.

Enstam overviews the different types of memoirs and how to find these and receive permission to use them when writing local history.

Though memoirs add to the historical record, particularly of a specific locale, they present a unique set of challenges.

Enstam shows the problems associated with using memoirs -factual errors, sentimentality, and the individual’s point of view.

Enstam provides a discussion of their value despite these problems, helping researchers and writers to approach memoirs with caution but to gain the most from them as possible.

Technical Leaflet #145 (1982)

For more information on similar topics, please refer to Technical Leaflet Bundle 12, Using Oral History.