An information behaviour exploration of personal and family information and curation of our life histories


  • Bhuva Narayan University of Technology Sydney
  • Annemarie Zijlema University of Greenwich
  • Vanessa Reyes East Carolina University
  • Mary Anne Kennan Charles Sturt University



family information behaviours, family information practices, information grounds, personal archiving, family archives


Introduction. Family stories and life histories are often shared among household and family members via oral and written communication, family traditions, and many other information practices. We explore these practices through the lens of information behaviour.

Method. This study uses first-hand reports of such family information practices. We use collaborative autoethnography through a narrative methodology for creating rich understandings of information practices within families.

Analysis. The first-hand self-reports from the four authors/researchers from four different countries are analysed using a narrative analysis method.

Results. Although each author describes the process of gathering and preserving their personal and family history differently, they all consciously or unconsciously defaulted to the role of information holders and occasionally gatekeepers of personal information within their families, especially as the previous generation age, suffer memory loss, or pass away.

Conclusion. Family events such as holidays, celebrations, funerals, and other spaces in which members come together, serve as boundaries of our information worlds, or as information grounds. However, the tension between traditional and digital documentation and communication methods within families, the digital divide, and globally dispersed families can lead to intergenerational information loss.




How to Cite

Narayan, B., Zijlema, A., Reyes, V., & Kennan, M. A. (2024). An information behaviour exploration of personal and family information and curation of our life histories. Information Research an International Electronic Journal, 29(2), 436–453.