One thing you’ll definitely want to do when collecting material for your congregation’s history is interview folks. Oral histories are a fantastic addition to your archives, and often they can give additional color to your history that church records alone will not provide!
It doesn’t take much to get started recording oral histories. Using your laptop and a free audio recording and editing program called Audacity (https://www.audacityteam.org/) you can easily record interviews.
However, the built-in microphones on most laptops are not ideal for interviews.
That can be solved with a $30 portable microphone.
The Samson Go MIcrophone is very small and produces pretty good audio quality for its size. There are two outputs; USB (so you can connect it to your computer) as well as a 1/8″ mini (so you can plug in headphones, or even connect it to a mixer if you’d like).
I recently picked up one for my interviews, and I’ll also be using it this weekend for supplemental audio while live broadcasting an Introduction to Upper Sorbian class for the Texas Wendish Heritage Society.
You can pick up a Samson Go Mic on Amazon here:
https://amzn.to/2umCKpb (affiliate link*)
There’s also a cheaper option– the Amazon Basics portable mic. It’s only $15, but it also only has a USB output (which is why I opted for the Samson instead).
You can pick up an Amazon Basics Portable Mic here::
https://amzn.to/2GV0tQ3 (affiliate link*)
* If you purchase one of the linked items after clicking on one of the affiliate links, I will be paid a small commission by Amazon at no additional cost to you.