Personal Historian

Convey other people's life stories through books, videos, or websites.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$26,000 – $96,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Personal Historians do?

A Writer, a Director, a Web Designer — the Personal Historian does it all. More specifically, a Personal Historian’s job is to capture the memories of others and preserve them for families to share for generations to come.

As a Personal Historian, before you can start your project, you must listen. The people you’re working with have unique stories to tell, and you need to understand every detail and emotion of the scenes they want recorded in their memoirs. You travel a lot while conducting your research and interviews.

Once you know the story by heart, it’s time to get your hands dirty. A book won’t write itself. You pen the words that turn memories into a captivating, nonfiction story. Through editing and several rewrites, you polish your draft into a finished masterpiece.

Other clients don’t want a book, but rather a video or a website to capture their lives. From laying out web pages to choosing music and interview clips for a movie, you craft a visual display to tell your client’s story.

When you’re working on a project, you spend your time in your office typing chapters or editing video clips on the computer. From a short paperback to a 90-minute movie, you fit together memories like puzzle pieces to form the complete picture.


Should I be a Personal Historian?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Personal Historian

    Most Personal Historians have a Doctorate or a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:axat9y&chl=|certificate+%2818%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2815%25%29|master%27s+%2848%25%29|doctorate+%2819%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,48
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