This small sampling of testimonials reflect what our clients say about their experiences as narrators, families, and organizations that have worked with Life History Services. We would be honored to provide you with excellent service as well. For references and samples, please contact us here.
Anita’s work is something we treasure. I have always believed in leaving a record of our family’s history to my children, grandchildren, and beyond, but I had no idea how captivating and meaningful the process would be. Our project soon became multigenerational, with Anita skillfully interviewing my parents, my wife’s parents, and my children as they grew up. Words are inadequate to express how much I treasure the gift these well-written and recorded family stories will be for my family as the future marches on. Anita is the best.
It’s been a wonderful experience. One great advantage of an oral history conducted by a pro, like yourself, is you think at the time you know everything you’re going to say and remember. And then in the context of a focused, professional interview, a light goes on and you remember things that had been buried. We’re talking about the obvious, and suddenly, buried, hidden under the obvious, is new stuff. It’s wonderful!”
My siblings and I used your services 16 years ago to record my parents’ life histories as a gift for their 60th anniversary; however, I have found, particularly in the 4 years since my mother’s death that having this recorded hour with her where she blossoms back to life has been a treasure that I value more than words could adequately express. As a ritual that I now hold sacred, I watch the video twice a year.
All we can say is that we were overwhelmed! The videos and print biographies were beautifully done, the music was most appropriate and, according to our three children, we looked great! Seeing ourselves on the video and sharing many experiences that we had never shared with our children was beautiful. We wouldn’t want to change anything.
You know how to make your interviewee comfortable and your questions come at the right time—they do not interrupt thought, but keep the conversation flowing; moreover, they lead to substantive answers.
I learned so much. I had no idea my grandmother spoke 5 languages! I also realized that my aunts both earned their masters degree – such modern women for the 1940s!
You conduct the interviews with insight, being inquisitive enough to make it interesting and yet with the discretion to make the person feel comfortable
Being interviewed was a moving experience for me largely because of your sensitivity and capacity to sense the directions into which we should head.
Ms. Hecht created an atmosphere of trust and comfort, both of which helped me to relate the rather difficult yet significant experiences of my life.
Being videotaped was so much easier than I had anticipated. Many of my concerns were eliminated at our first preliminary meeting.
You have a way of putting your subjects at ease and making them feel as though they and their personal stories are the most important of all the ones you have done.
Your gentle questioning and sympathetic manner helped me search and express ideas that had never occurred to me, but lay buried in my subconscious.
I was pleased beyond any expectations. Anita has the technique and ability to make the interviewee feel comfortable.
I wanted you to know how meaningful the making of the oral history was for me. You are just a pro.
I thank you very much for the interest you placed in this work, based on your intelligent and skillful questions that did not interrupt the flow of the conversation, but were inserted at the appropriate places.
My parents felt comfortable with you and shared details that might have been lost forever had you not been such an experienced and professional interviewer.
The preliminary meeting also made me more comfortable so that at the interview itself, I could relax, ignore the camera and just have a pleasant chat, reminiscing with you.
I did not think that I was deserving of being put on tape. [However], this record of my personal history will give me a kind of immortality, touching the minds and hearts of my grandchildren.
Your expertise not only in the interviewing part, but in lighting, positioning, was impressive. I felt like a film star being directed by an expert director.
Thank you for sending me my oral history. You certainly do exceedingly professional and interesting work, and I hope your services can continue to be put to good use with respect to many subjects and people!
I have done several limited oral histories for certain parts of my public life, but yours was more of a complete picture of my role as U.S. Secretary of Education. I am very pleased with the final product. You handled the interview, written biography, and transcript in a professional and effective manner. It would be a pleasure for me to recommend you to others for a very professionally-done oral history.
In oral history as in journalism, accuracy is paramount. As the retired Washington bureau chief of The Milwaukee Journal and its successor, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, I worked with Anita Hecht on the William Proxmire Oral History Project. Throughout the project, Ms. Hecht was thoroughly professional, but most importantly, the end product was impeccably accurate and professionally executed.
As the Archivist of Temple Emanu-El, an historic San Francisco congregation founded in 1850, my association with Ms. Hecht began in 2004 when she and I embarked on a project to digitize a series of decade-old oral histories she conducted in the 1990s. I cannot emphasize enough my respect for Ms. Hecht’s professionalism and for the initiative, creativity, and practicality she brought to our project. Furthermore, as I watched each of the interviews she conducted on behalf of Temple Emanu-El, I was especially struck by the sensitivity with which she guided her subjects. It was readily apparent that her preparation for each interview was extensive and that her ability to gain the trust of each subject and engage him or her in a lively, meaningful conversation was impressive. In addition, the supplementary written materials, which accompanied each interview could not have been more expertly produced.
So many gave time and thought to our oral history project, but the key to its success is the work of Anita Hecht, the oral historian who conducted all the interviews. I found she was totally qualified to handle the broad range of topics pursued and the broad variety of people interviewed.
We were very, very pleased with the results [of the oral history project]—the rapport you established with each of the various members, of different ages and attitudes, and the business like manner in which the job was done.
Your skills as an oral historian are impressive — from start to finish — from researching a hell of a lot of information to careful interviewing to a beautiful final presentation. You were not only informed, but you asked intelligent questions and listened thoughtfully and carefully. I applaud your efforts and I recommend you and your services without hesitation.
Anita Hecht recently presented her life history work in a panel about writing memoirs at our college. Her professionalism and expertise was immediately obvious. She not only understands the societal importance of recording our personal histories but also the integrity and quality with which those stories are told — in terms of presentation, respecting the goals of her clients, and creating a well-crafted narrative. The audience left feeling both enlightened and inspired by her work.
I believe that your work will prove therapeutic to some who feel the loneliness of not being able to share memories of their lives. Thank you for your interesting and stimulating presentation.