CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Eric Douglas, author, journalist and documentarian, will present “Capturing Memories: How to Record Oral Histories” in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston, on Thursday, Oct. 20. The program begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

According to Douglas, “An oral history is simply a recording of memories,” typically of things not found in history books. They serve an important role in documenting the past by capturing everyday life and memories of events that families and researchers can use to understand what happened in earlier years. Douglas will explain how to conduct and record an oral history during his talk.

Douglas spent his childhood Sunday nights watching “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” and dreamed of diving alongside the captain. He eventually became a diver, and then a dive instructor, meeting his goals and pursuing a life of adventure and travel. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Marshall University and a certificate in documentary arts from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. He is the author of several books including Common Valor (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013), a companion to his multimedia documentary West Virginia Voices of War, and Capturing Memories: How to Record Oral Histories (The Whole Picture Press, 2016). He also has recorded oral histories in the Archives and History Library for FestivALL 2015 and 2016 and will be recording more in the library for FestivALL on Oct. 20 and Oct. 22.

For additional information about the Archives and History lecture series, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

Patrons may park behind the Culture Center after 5 p.m. on Oct. 20 and enter the building at the back loading dock area. There also is limited handicapped parking available in the new bus turnaround. Visitors parking there should enter at the front of the building.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, cabinet secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.