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The Project for Writing and Recording Family History

Writing and Recording Family History: A Gift for Generations to Come

Genealogical research possibilities have exploded with the development of the Internet, as have the number of people now going back to learn more about the generations who came before them. But the more we gather names, dates, and cold genealogical facts, the more we yearn for more personal connections to and understanding of those who came before, found in stories about their lives and first-person accounts of their daily struggles, hopes, dreams.

This longing is partly responsible for the recent growth in self-published memoirs and family histories. A recent Forbes article on self-published memoirs as a growth sector in the publishing industry summarized well the motivations of one generation: "Memoir writing has a lot going for it, especially as a retirement activity. At around age 60, after their own parents are gone, people start to regret that they never asked how Mom and Dad met or what Dad did in the war or what exactly was the scandal involving Uncle Ned—furthermore they realize that their own kids are not asking such questions."

In the context of this great interest, Arizona State University at the Polytechnic campus has established the Project for Writing and Recording Family History.

 Mission Statement

The Polytechnic campus Project for Writing and Recording Family History will support teaching, research, and public service in writing, recording, and publishing family history.

  • In its service mission, the Project will provide outreach to Arizona and beyond to assist those who wish to enhance their skills in writing and recording family history in its many forms. This will include courses, workshops, consulting, and on-demand printing.
  • In its teaching mission, the Project will collaborate with other campus units to offer a degree track in writing and recording family history.
  • In its research mission, the Project will support the work of faculty, students, and others who study the writing and recording of family history. In collaboration with the campus library, the Project will function as a clearinghouse of print and digital resources for scholars.

Contact Information

family history graphicDuane Roen
Faculty Head, Interdisciplinary and Liberal Studies
Professor of English
School of Letters and Sciences
University Academic Services Building, Room 228
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ 85287-1901

Phone: 480-727-6513
Fax: 480-727-6344
Personal email: