Two oral history workshops: Ethical/Legal Issues & Social Justice

If you receive this  post in your email, you are considered a part of our Oral History Alliance, that is people who want to be part of the growing oral history practice in our area.

Today, we invite you to two November 2018 workshops.  Note:  One is in Pittsfield and the other is in Gt. Barrington, both at BCC.   Call or email for directions, addresses, or with any other questions. See my contact info below.

Practical Solutions to Legal and Ethical Quandaries for Oral History practitioners, November 8, 2018 from 10-12 a.m.      (BCC South County Center, Gt. Barrington)

Legal and ethical issues can complicate projects, and in many cases, there are simple solutions. Questions arise such as:  What can I do if I have oral history interviews, tapes or digital recordings, without release forms? What can I do with interviews involving minors? Did an interviewee/narrator reveal a crime during the recording? Can I ethically put an oral history online that was recorded before the age of the internet?  Am I struggling to find balance in both protecting the interviewee/narrator’s privacy yet providing access to interviews?

Bring your questions.  Bring specific challenges from your own experience along with the relevant releases, deeds-of-gift, consent forms, or interview segments for discussion and problem solving.  The discussion will be guided by archivist and oral historian Sarah-Jane Poindexter, with attendee participation encouraged. Every effort will be made to find a resolution for each challenge. If you do not have a problem to bring to the group, please come anyway, just to learn.

Sarah-Jane Poindexter is Roving Archivist for the Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board.   She was Co-Director of the Oral History Center at the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections, and served on the Steering Committee for the Oral History Section of the Society of American Archivists and as an adviser to the Kentucky Oral History Commission.


Oral History and Social Justice
November 13, 2018 from 1-2:30.    (BCC Main Campus, Pittsfield)

Alisa Del Tufo, visiting faculty member at Bennington College, founding member of Groundswell, Oral History for Social Change, and founder the Threshold Collaborative, will present a workshop on Oral History and Social Justice.  The time and details of this workshop are forthcoming.

At Bennington College, Del Tufo teaches Oral History, Restorative Justice and Youth Impacted by the Criminal Justice System.  She has taught at the Marlboro Graduate School of Management and Sustainable Practice, Middlebury College and Southern Vermont College.  Groundswell uses grassroots oral history and narrative in creative, effective and ethical ways to support movement building and social change.   Threshold works around the country with a focus on racial and gender justice, most recently focusing on how oral history can be used as a way to generate healing, reconciliation and justice. She has been a Revson, Rockefeller and Ashoka Fellow, and is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary.


Registration is required for all workshops, which are free of charge.

For more information and to register, call Judith Monachina, Director, Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College, at  413-236-1025, or send an email to


Written by Judith

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