The Alternative Historian


Providing the tools to connect with those important to you.

Areas of Service

Short description of some of the services I offer. Don't see what you need? Contact me and we can create a customized project to meet your needs.


Oral history is the collection and study of historical information by interviewing people with personal knowledge of past events. This can be done through a variety of means, but I focus on audio recording of individuals and pairs of people. Depending on the project, I sit down with people for a 2 hour interview or facilitate a conversation between two people who know each other talking about something important to them. Other times, I record people for 10 minutes during an experience. This can be turned into a written record or edited audio.

Possible services:

  • Pop-Up Recording - A type of on-site recording where I interview folks for 10 minutes and present you with a compiled recording.
  • Individual Oral History Interview - One or more interviews where I talk with specific people about their personal experiences and knowledge.
  • Facilitated Participant Interview - Where I record a conversation between two people talking about something important to them.


communications consulting

What does your company sell? Why? Are your customers buying for the same reasons you are selling? People put their lives in context. They make sense of their own memories and the realities around them. If you can understand people's contexts, then you can connect to them on a sincere level.

Possible services:

  • Promotional recording - Through professional interviews we find the reason people engage with your organization or company. Once edited, we have wonderful way to promote your work.
  • Training materials - Creating the time and space to really listen to each other leads to great discoveries on how to work better. I create that listening space and capture those discoveries. Together we can create the training materials.
  • Company biography - Your company's founding is an interesting story. I can help you put it out to the public.

Research & writing

As a trained historian, I have the skills to find answers. More importantly, I help you ask the right questions. What problem is your organization addressing? Does your constituency see it as a problem? Do your customers see your company's service or products as a luxury? A necessity? A solution? I help you answer the correct questions with the right information. That information can then be turned into a fundraising template, brochure, audio clip, and other promotional items.

Possible services:

  • Interviews - Through individual and facilitated conversations we can find out how your constituency, employees, or clients view the work. These interviews can be edited or transcribed as needed.
  • Family histories - Through interviews and research, I can create a short history of your family. 
  • Annotated bibliography - I give you a list of 10-15 books and articles that will help you. The list includes a one or two paragraph description of each item along with the reasons why I think you could benefit from reading it.

speaking & Teaching

Over the past 25 years I have given quite a number of speeches and talks as well as conducted numerous specialized workshops. Here is just a short list. Interested in having me speak or run a workshop? Contact me and we can meet to discuss content and pricing.

In a video of my TEDx talk, "Being a Usable Past", where I gave my thoughts on why people engage with history. In short, I believe some people not only want to learn from history, but leave a lessons for others. I gave this talk to promote StoryCorps, the national media organization you may have heard on NPR. 

Here is a short list of some of the talks and workshops I can give to your organization or community:

  • Building Your Own Narrative: Communicating the Context of Your Story - Your clients have their own stories they put into their own contexts. You will connect with them if you create the space to listen to them.
  • How to Interview - A short tutorial on how to conduct a good interview.
  • Using Oral History for Family Research - This is an overview designed to inspire you to use oral history in telling your family's story.
  • Campaign Strategy - A strategy is more than a list of things you hope to do, it's a plan for achieving what you want. This talk helps lay the groundwork for strategic planning.
  • Creating Your Community Timeline - This is an overview for creating a historical timeline for your organization, company, community, etc. 


Raising money for your organization depends on telling a compelling story about your work. If you submitting for a grant, a single large donation, or a mass donation campaign, your group needs to communicate a compelling narrative. The good news is that you already have several. I can help you find those narratives, turn them into an understandable package, and raise the money you need.

Possible services:

  • Campaign strategy - I have been involved in many campaigns over the years. Together we can create a strategic plan for reaching your organizations goals.
  • Grant template - Your organization's history, philosophy of change, and mission do not change depending on the grant. Together we can put together a basic template that includes this information.
  • Organizational biography - Combining interviews and other research, we can put the story of your organization out for donors, the media, and general public. 


Don't see what you need?

No problem.

Contact me for a consultation