Oral History Projects
Discussion devoted to specific oral history projects. No matter what the stage (beginning, middle, or completed and available for access) or the venue (online or library or museum or historical society or?)
Woman compiles oral history of Flight 93. Kathie Shaffer is 6 months into a 2-year project, and has interviewed 80 people so far. She expects to interview around 200. She’s interviewed first responders, Somerset County residents, and family members of Flight 93 passengers.
She said she tries to complete one interview every day.
“This is all like some gigantic puzzle,” Shaffer said. “It’s very rewarding.”
[Clergyman] Way, however, worries what emotional effect they could have on Shaffer.
“Somewhat, day to day, Kathie relives Sept. 11, 2001, through the life of somebody else,” Way said.
The Louisiana Folklife Program has a page, In the wake of the hurricanes, devoted to “collecting our stories and preserving our culture.” There are some excellent resources on that page for interviewing Hurricane Katrina survivors and responders. Why might this be of interest to someone who is not from the Gulf area? (I’ve been thinking about interview questions today). Disasters happen. People are affected—both the survivors and those who respond. These are a good starting place to elicit details about a major disaster experience. And there are a huge number of people affected by Katrina and Rita, too. Too– the Gulf diaspora is so widespread that there may be survivors and responders close by.
North Dakota State University Oral History Project. Germans from Russia. Nice in that there are documents like scope and permissions form all for the viewing from the web site.
Lots of cool stuff found in the pop-up menus on the site, including the Inteview Topic Checklist (which is a nifty intake form, thanks to that handy-dandy world wide web!) The items that’re are what we’ll be talking about, please check off additionally listed topics you’d feel comfortable and/or interested in discussing) and biography form. It’s a good resource to think about your interviews and prep.
Of course, since it’s for a university-related project, there is a release form. Because this is going to become a resource used by scholars in perpetuity, as curated by the university. So the interviewee (narrator) says, Yes, you have my permission to make use of the interview. But an ...Read More
Recordnet, California’s Central Valley paper, profiles Stockton twins (currently in Seattle) as they swapped stories about their father in the StoryCorps booth.
In a 40-minute session in StoryCorps’ MobileBooth, a recording studio constructed inside a silver Airstream trailer, the Canote twins, 54, swapped tales of their father, Bob Canote, who died last year at 81 in Saratoga. The oldest of five children, Bob became a banker after he completed his World War II service in Italy.
A profile of local people and a discussion of the StoryCorps project (which, thus far, hasn’t been getting much coverage on this site, though I’ve been following it quite closely. And wondering when and if they’re going to come to the L.A. area. The West Coast tour stops in San Francisco, and that bums me out.
Here’s their how-to for doing it yourself:
If you want ...Read More
The L.A. Times profiles the oral history collection at the California Institute of Technology.
Scientists, legends, nobel laureates are part of the oral history collection at the Pasadena, California Institute. Visit the online home for Caltech Archives Oral Histories Online.
Ever heard the story about Albert Einstein and the Long Beach earthquake of 1933?
Einstein, a visiting professor at Caltech at the time, was walking across campus with an earthquake expert, Beno Gutenberg. They even were talking about seismic research. But when the magnitude-6.4 temblor struck, the absent-minded scientists were so engrossed in conversation that neither noticed the shaking.
“There was an earthquake someplace?” Gutenberg, a partner with Charles Richter in developing the Richter scale, ...Read More
Saginaw, MI: Oral History project continues w/o grant. Lives of minority residents who helped build the city.
Saginaw News (Mlive) story.
It’s a long haul to get everything completed. Whaddaya do when the grant money runs out? Continue on, at a much slower pace.
...A Saginaw native delved inside the lives of minority residents who helped build the city.
Michelle S. Johnson, a former professor at Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan State University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, interviewed 35 black and Hispanic residents beginning in 1999.
The result is the Saginaw Oral History Project, which Johnson hopes offers a peek into the religious, economic and cultural impact minorities had on their hometown.
When the grant expired two years ago, Johnson said, she still ...Read More
NJ.com: Save our History Grant awarded
MILLVILLE—The History Channel has announced the award of a “Save Our History” grant to the Millville Army Air Field Museum and Millville Memorial High School to partner in an oral history project.
The project would preserve the community’s and museum’s important role in preserving the history of the air field as a training facility for pilots about to go overseas for the European Theater during World War II.
The MAAFM was one of only 29 organizations out of about 700 who applied to be awarded a grant to fund innovative educational projects designed to being communities and children together to preserve their local history.
Students conduct the interviews.
Results will be part of ...Read More
The Veterans History Project: Sponsored by the U.S. Congress (elsewhere I’ve seen Library of Congress), AARP, and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Service Trust.
The Veterans History Project focuses on World War I (1914-1920), World War II (1939-1946), and the Korean (1950-1955), Vietnam (1961-1975), and Persian Gulf (1990-1995) wars. It includes all participants in those wars—men and women, civilian and military. It documents the contributions of civilian volunteers, support staff, and war industry workers as well as the experiences of military personnel from all ranks and all branches of service—the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy, as well as the U.S. Coast ...Read More