When we archive our oral history interviews and related materials we are doing one of the most important things we do.
We have been working with the University of Massachusetts Special Collections, and they are putting our interviews in their archive, which is available online. We know they will be cared for, updated, and available. So far, they have helped us with the NAACP Oral History Project, the Monterey Library’s Oral History Project, and the OLLI 1968 Project. We will continue to help our Oral History Alliance members (you) to work with us and UMass in this effort.
But we still want to be sure we are correctly setting up our own archives – paper and digital. And so we applied for help with this from the State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) and we have received an award notice. So this fall, Roving Archivist Sarah-Jane Poindexter will visit us to evaluate our collections, and she will make recommendations.
(You may remember Sarah-Jane. Last year, she gave a workshop on legal and ethical issues and quandaries in oral history practice, at BCC South County Center.)
After our meetings with Sarah-Jane in September, we be in a position to better assist our Oral History Alliance members, and we will begin a pilot project with a group of history organizations.
We will keep you posted!
Meanwhile, here is a link to the SHRAB resources: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/arcshrab/shrabidx.htm
Above: Speaking of archives. This is one subject on which we will continue to offer workshops. Margaret Cherin, former archivist at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, gave a workshop on setting up the project for sustainability via a well planned and implemented archiving system. Here she shows a letter from the founder of Simon’s Rock, Betty Hall. Margaret also started an oral history project at Simon’s Rock, and so her background in both archives and oral history made it an incredibly useful workshop.