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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

Source: Moscow Government – Moscow Government –

The Moscow Longevity project has been running for six years now helps people of the older generation take care of their health, master gadgets and find new hobbies. And now you can delve even deeper into the history of your family: about 50 groups are open for genealogy and memoir writing. Actively collaborates with the project Main Archive of Moscow, starting this year, the course “Keepers of Family Memory” is organized at the Gulag History Museum.

Mos.ru found out the benefits of memoirs, how to find out about your ancestry, and what kind of homework they give participants.

“Life Line”: memories that became history

The memoirs club “Life Line” was created in 2021 on the basis of the Moscow longevity center “Lomonosovsky”. Over three years, more than 500 people became its participants.

In classes, employees of the Main Archive explain what memoirs are, why it is important to preserve the memory of the events of your life for future generations, and help you find a format in which it is more comfortable to share memories. These can be short stories, essays, miniatures or poems.

“We do not have strict regulations, editing and censorship; we do not evaluate literary abilities. A person tells what he considers significant: about his parents, his life, professional successes, travels, what he was worried about, what was important for him during certain historical events,” noted Yulia Gulyaeva, head of the department for storing documents of personal collections of the Moscow Main Archive.

One of the main goals of the project is to collect the memories of citizens and add them to the official history of Moscow and the country. Thanks to the club, several dozen people have already donated memoirs for storage to the Main Archive in the form of manuscripts, printouts, and electronic documents. The entries are often accompanied by photographs, newspaper clippings, postcards and small collections. All this is then used in exhibition and socially significant projects, in the preparation of publications and events.

During the Year of the Family, the club’s activities are dedicated to the holidays. Memoirists are asked to share how and where they celebrated New Year, Victory Day and other important dates, and what events took place on the streets of the city. As a result, it is planned to release a general collection of such stories.

“Personal records are one of the most valuable sources of information from the point of view that they reflect not official history, but purely human history. It is unique for each family. We want to collect them in order to share living history on memorable dates. We are interested in learning about traditions: how the guests gathered, what was on the table, whether family recipes have been preserved. We ask the townspeople to tell us about the gifts they gave and received, what songs they sang, sewed costumes and made crafts,” added Yulia Gulyaeva.

You can join the Life Line at any stage. Classes are held online, sometimes participants meet in person. Club leaders independently hold meetings with newcomers, share their experience and inspire them with their example.

Retired psychologist Irina Shaidetskaya first listened to consultations with specialists and stories from other participants, and then began to speak herself.

“My mission is to make sure that people who have really interesting memories keep them. I try to encourage a person to write, especially when I understand that he has something to tell. For the first time she spoke on air dedicated to Cosmonautics Day, then she talked about her biography, how she started writing memoirs and why. I prefer to describe memories not globally, but rather in the form of small notes,” the interlocutor shared with mos.ru.

To save memories, the memoirist uses notes on her phone and transfers them to her computer at home.

The Moscow Archive shared the first transmitted memoirs of a participant in the Life Line clubThe Main Archive will begin to accept for eternal storage memories of citizens about holidays and important events

From personal hobby to an all-Moscow club

In addition to memoirs, Irina Shaidetskaya studies genealogy and even runs a club of the same name. It was created on the initiative of Life Line participants in September 2021. Today there are already more than 150 people in the club from all over Moscow, and about 70 of them are very active.

“We study once a week and sometimes online, but twice a month we gather in person at the Moscow longevity center “Lomonosovsky”: we drink tea and share archival finds or go to museums,” noted Irina Shaidetskaya.

The topics of the meetings are chosen in advance – from working with archives to studying programs for building a family tree and DNA genealogy. Everyone can write down memories on a specific topic and read them out during practical classes. This helps Muscovites who cannot use a computer to realize their potential. The works are often illustrated with photographs, some of which are over 100 years old. Contemporary themes are also raised.

Irina Shaidetskaya became interested in genealogy as a child, when she began searching for information about her grandfather, who did not return from the front. Over time, it was possible to trace the history of the family until the arrival of their ancestors in the Urals with Ermak. She came to Moscow to study in 1984, and here she met her husband, who turned out to have Moscow roots. Now the pensioner is writing a book about the history of the family. “It will have a lot of illustrations and little text to make it interesting for children to read. I’ll start with the fact that 17 births gathered in Moscow at different times, arriving from different parts of the country, so that in the end my two granddaughters were born,” she emphasized.

Not just researchers, but keepers of family memory

In the Year of the Family, for participants of the “Moscow Longevity” who want to pass on knowledge about their family to the next generations, a course “Keepers of Family Memory” was opened at the Museum of the History of the Gulag.

“These are classes for people of the older generation, who today not only act as researchers, historians, and those who walk through archives, but are also keepers of stories and try to pass this memory on to future generations. We wanted to teach how to do this effectively,” said Konstantin Andreev, head of the educational center of the Gulag History Museum.

The course lasts two months and consists of eight classes, which take place every Wednesday. Participants are taught archival research, recording memories and writing interview questions, working with photographs and videos, collecting family phraseological units, and even organizing excursions to places memorable for the family. First there is a lecture, then there are questions and discussions, and at the end each participant receives a reminder.

There are also homework assignments, but all practice is done solely at will. This approach motivates participants; they even offer creative design of work, for example, using scrapbooking techniques.

The first group of 60 people completed their training at the end of March, and classes for the second group began on April 3. Konstantin Andreev noted that the project will be supplemented. “We will work on two courses, analyze the reviews over the summer break and offer some more options by September. Perhaps this will be an expanded program or more focused work with video and archival documents,” he said.

One of the first graduates of the course was the candidate of technical sciences, former teacher Vladimir Prokhorov. He joined Moscow Longevity at the beginning of 2022 and became interested in Nordic walking and genealogy. The history of his family is closely connected with the capital: his great-grandfather from a noble family moved to Moscow in 1903, served as the head of the Moscow-Nizhny Novgorod railway. All representatives of subsequent generations were also Muscovites.

“At my age, you understand that you want to pass on all the stories told by your parents and grandparents to your children and grandchildren. In the records that I leave behind, they will learn about their family and ancestors. To study the genealogy more deeply than the five generations that I know about, I took a course. There were classes that were useful and interesting to me. This is the technology of creating a home archive, transferring paper documents, photo and film materials to digital media and storing them, systematizing materials,” said Vladimir Prokhorov.

According to him, the course set the right vector for independent work, but he would like to continue practicing under the guidance of specialists. In addition, Vladimir Prokhorov is going to write a book, which he will pass on to his four children and grandchildren. He plans to share some memories with the Moscow Chief Archive.

“I advocate that every person express his point of view about historical events, describe how his ancestors perceived them. And if experts ever want to recreate objective history, they will be able to use these materials,” he concluded.

Residents of the older generation join the “Moscow Longevity” project can on mos.ru or by personal contact to any Moscow longevity center and government services office.

The “My Family” service has been helping people search for their ancestors for three years now – SobyaninParticipants in the Moscow Longevity project have released a collection of poems and stories

Note; This information is raw content directly from the source of the information. This is exactly what the source states and does not reflect the position of MIL-OSI or its clients.

Please note; This information is raw content directly from the information source. It is accurate to what the source is stating and does not reflect the position of MIL-OSI or its clients.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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