Essential Workers Oral History

Essential workers Oral History Project

The Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College will interview 5-10 people who are doing work that is deemed essential and indeed is essential.  Nurses, postal workers, grocery clerks, physicians, pharmacy clerks and pharmacists, EMTs, and others.  As many parts of our society and economy are shut down due to government decree or safety concerns, working people are literally keeping us alive.   We want to collect and preserve their stories. We hope to help to create a record of this time, through the interviews of people on the front lines of work.

We are starting with a small and manageable number. We will create a podcast using the interviews.   All of the interviews, with permission granted by the interviewees, will then be processed and placed at the University of Massachusetts Libraries Special Collections, in an online archive, where they will be preserved and made available.

We know these people are particularly busy and under stress, and so we will keep the interviews under 45 minutes, and may be as brief as 30 minutes.

These are oral history interviews, done in a biographical format.  That means the interview will begin with a chronological telling of early years.  Prior to the interview, the interviewer will provide the interviewee (narrator) an outline of the interview. Of course, the focus of the interview will be today and their work today.

All interviews will be done remotely, and that arrangement will differ according to available technology.  For those who have access to computers and wi fi, interviews may take place via Zoom, and full instructions will be provided. For others, the interview may be done by telephone.

For information, please email:  Judith Monachina at jmonachina@berkshirecc.edu

If you know someone you would like to interview for this project, or know someone who might be interested in being interviewed by us, please be in touch.

Be well.

Written by Judith