Spring symposium at the Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge

    By / February 1, 2024

    We are resuming a tradition The annual spring Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College Oral History Symposium May 9, 2024, 9-4 Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, Massachusetts  We will invite guests and friends to give workshops, share insights, and talk about what they know, with subjects ranging from Project Design, to Technology, to… Read more

    Last week, we lost a 102-year-old Stockbridge resident, David Resnik.  In 2016, a BCC student interviewed him

    By / December 22, 2023

    Last week, we lost a 102-year-old Stockbridge resident, David Resnik.  In 2016, a BCC student interviewed him. In 2016, Berkshire Community College student Dave Wasielewski was studying history with Chris Laney and wanted to interview a veteran.  World War II veteran David Resnik agreed to be interviewed. Paul O’Brien, a retired teacher in Sheffield who… Read more

    Photography in Collections, A Conversation on the Commons

    By / December 4, 2023

    Oral history collections often include more than recordings of oral history interviews. When you open boxes and look into hard drives, you might find various documents, including photographs.  Or, you might plan an oral history project that includes photographs. In an upcoming Conversation on the Commons, panelists Martha Mahard (Simmons University) and Ron Polito (UMass… Read more

    Roadhouse era Interest Group is featured in online open house at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

    By / November 9, 2023

    The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College is hosting a  Shared Interest Group (SIG) open house. One of those SIGs is led by someone who began his project with the Oral History Center, Mark Rosenman: History of Music in The Berkshires – The Road House EraUncover the rich history of music in the Berkshires,… Read more

    Holding Community Events to Celebrate the Oral History Project

    By / October 23, 2023

    Last week, we participated in a community event for the completion of an oral history project of the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center, a program of New England Historic Geneological Society (now American Ancestors), which is based in Boston.  Hundreds (though I did not count) of people showed up to celebrate. Rachel King and Sarah… Read more

    Berkshire Athenaeum partners with the Oral History Center and Sheffield’s Voices from the Fields

    By / October 6, 2023

    Sheffield Land Trust oral history interviews with farmers are now getting digital copies as we prepare them for the Digital Commonwealth, where they will safely archived and available to the public.   Katherine Abbott is doing the work for us.  We are working in collaboration with the Sheffield Historical Society and the Local History Department… Read more

    Tyringham Oral Histories now available through Digital Commonwealth

    By / September 29, 2023

    We are so pleased to announce that the oral history collection from Tyringham is now online and available for you to listen. There are many people to thank for this, but let’s start with Ann Gallo, who saw a box of tapes and wondered what they were.  She set out to digital copy each one… Read more

    CTSB, Community Television for Southern Berkshires, airs Tom Wojtkowski interview

    By / September 5, 2023

    Thank you to Erica Spizz and Steven Borns at Community Television for the Southern Berkshires (CTSB). They are helping us tell our stories, including this one. Tom Wojtkowski was co-sponsor of the bill in the Massachusetts legislature that created the state’s community college system.  Berkshire Community College was the first. CTSB aired the interview we… Read more

    2023 Heritage Walks

    By / August 22, 2023

    Housatonic Heritage offers Heritage Walks every year.  And each year, the list of participating sites grows. The walks (cycles, paddles, etc.) are free, guided interpretive tours to off-the-beaten-path  (or hidden in plain site)  historic, cultural, industrial, and natural sites in Berkshire County, MA, & Litchfield County, CT. All happening over five weekends in September and… Read more

    Fieldnotes from Vermont Folklife Center – in the Wake of a Natural Disaster

    By / July 21, 2023

    Vermont Folklife Center gives us a model to emulate. At this time, as they continue their work on various projects, they respond to the flooding, the natural disaster, in the state. Here is a link to the resources they are sharing for recording, interviewing, and documentation in the wake of a natural disaster. (Of course,… Read more

    Memory maps

    By / July 13, 2023

    We are exploring memory maps, and we ran across one that we like a lot. Click here: https://jewishmanchestermemorymap.org/   This visual is a cropped version, but just go to the site, linked above, to click on place names and listen to stories. We are exploring ways to make our own memory maps.     This… Read more

    Digital archives assistant, part-time, paid internship

    By / April 25, 2023

      Paid Position/Internship in the Oral History Center, in person and hybrid All training is provided. Digital archive assistant One of the most important parts of the work of the Oral History Center is safe keeping of the interviews we and our partners conduct. We have conducted and audio/video recorded interviews with alumni, former faculty,… Read more

    42nd Annual Connecticut Storytelling Festival and Conference

    By / April 7, 2023

    The Connecticut Storytelling Center strives to provide the means for people of all ages to experience stories as a means of expression and communication, as a tool for thinking, reflecting, teaching and learning, and as a catalyst for change. This spring, the League is proud to promote: 42nd Annual Connecticut Storytelling Festival & Conference Friday, April… Read more

    Internship available with the Oral History Center

    By / March 24, 2023

      The Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College is offering a paid internship in the Summer, 2023, which may continue into Fall semester of 2023. We are a community oral history center, which means we help community organizations in the region to create, organize, and safely archive the stories of people who… Read more

    Sharon Historical Oral Histories now online

    By / March 10, 2023

    If you are daunted by those boxes of cassette tapes in your collection, read about the project  of the Sharon (Connecticut) Historical Society.  They have followed a roadmap that brought them from a situation in which they were not sure what was in those boxes of tapes to making those very interviews available online at… Read more

    Story Circle Logistics

    By / March 7, 2023

    At the end of our first story circle about story circles, in February,  participants wanted to talk about logistics.  We agreed that our next session would be devoted to this:  The logistics of story circles.  Friday, March 10, 12-1, via zoom. We will talk about workflow, including setting up the room, in person or virtual,… Read more

    Story Circle about Story Circles

    By / January 20, 2023

    Happy New Year We are experimenting with an idea:  hosting a story circle for oral history practitioners who want to: •talk about story circles, or •learn about them, or •share their own experiences with story circles. Join us for an informal lunchtime gathering to chat about story circles in a story circle format, on zoom…. Read more

    Berkshire Historical completes a legacy oral history project: Invisible Communities

    By / November 11, 2022

    Congratulations to Berkshire Historical Society Originally a Mass Humanities-funded project, with Barbara Allen, then Berkshire Historical Society Director as lead, and Frances Jones Sneed, Mass Humanities Scholar, this collection of  20 interviews of African American elders was initiated in the late 1990’s. A few years ago, we were able to act as stewards as the… Read more

    Archives 101 begins tomorrow, zoom

    By / October 3, 2022

    Archives 101 When: Tuesday, October 04, 2022 10:00 AM, EDT Where: Zoom Will you be attending?   Register Not attending     EVENT DETAILS: A free, five-part webinar series running Tuesdays from 10 to 11 a.m., October 4 through November 4 This series of five, one-hour webinars provides information and instruction in the basics of… Read more

    Archivist-Intern imports paper heritage recordings and gets them ready for the archive

    By / September 27, 2022

    We are working on our paper making collection, which documents paper making in the region, and in Lee, Mass, primarily.   Making sure the digital files were safe was task number one.   We are fortunate to be working with an archivist, Schuyler Fohrhaltz-Burbank, a recent graduate of the Simmons University MS Library and Information Science/ Archives… Read more

    Incarceration, Oral History, Documentary & “Suave”, offered by Columbia University OHMA

    By / September 20, 2022

    Incarceration, Oral History, Documentary & ‘Suave’  SIGN UP NOW  Where: Zoom – Sign up to receive the link here When: Thursday, September 22, 2022, 6:00pm-7:30pm EST Maria Hinojosa spent nearly 20 years documenting with David Luis “Suave” Gonzalez, who was incarcerated for a crime he was convicted of at the age of 17. The Pulitzer-Prize-winning… Read more

    First of Boston Public Library’s oral history workshops is tonight

    By / September 15, 2022

    Dear Subscriber, We are re-posting this information because we learned that many of you had not received the original post.  We are trying to troubleshoot our blog post problems.  Thanks for your patience! Judith Monachina Director, Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College jmonachina@berkshirecc.edu The first two of these workshops is offered via… Read more

    Boston Public Library offers evening oral history workshops (zoom and in person)

    By / September 8, 2022

    The first two of these workshops is offered via Zoom; the third is in person only. Family Oral History with Kelly Elaine NaviesDate: Thursday, September 15, 2022Time: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PMRegistration RequiredThis online event is hosted on Zoom.Kelly Elaine Navies, Museum Specialist in Oral History at the National Museum of African American History and… Read more

    Connecticut cultural groups seek input from History Organizations

    By / August 4, 2022

    Input from History Organizations Wanted: The Arts, Culture and Tourism Funding Roadmap Project In December 2021, representatives of the arts, culture and tourism sectors met in Hartford to discuss their priorities. Now, Connecticut Arts Alliance, Connecticut Humanities, and Connecticut Tourism Coalition are working together to follow up on that convening to advocate for meaningful, reliable, and equitable state funding for… Read more

    Story Circles

    By / August 2, 2022

    We are about to plan a series of discussions about story circles. If you are interested, read on! We participated in one that the West Side Legends organized back in the spring.  The theme of that story circle was living on the West Side of Pittsfield during the 1950’s and 1960’s, before the Urban Renewal… Read more

    Site work

    By / July 19, 2022

    Hello Oral History Center blog subscriber, You may receive a few email messages with invitations to open old posts.  We have been working on the site, and this seems to have happened as a result of a plug in. We apologize if this has caused any inconvenience. Thanks! Judith Monachina jmonachina@berkshirecc.edu  

    It Takes Many Lives: Jeff Vele, Stockbridge-Munsee Community member gives talk

    By / July 15, 2022

    About My Story: It Takes Many Lives to Make an Indian Trustees of Reservations, Mission House, Stockbridge, MA Registration required:  https://thetrustees.org/event/78743/ Hear from Stockbridge-Munsee Community Member in Residence, Jeff Vele, as he shares personal reflections and lessons from his life– from his time as a Native American living in the city to moving back to… Read more

    West Side Legends host virtual story circle

    By / May 27, 2022

    The group hoped to host an actual, in-person event at the Lichtenstein Arts Center in Pittsfield, but concern about the Covid numbers led to a change of mind. They decided to host their first story circle on Zoom.  They will host a series of circles, with different sub topics (Red Lining, Urban Renewal and more)… Read more

    Columbia University Oral History students showcase their work

    By / April 28, 2022

    Our students are creating this year’s exhibit in a moment of cautious venturing out. In New York City, spring is coming, and withdrawing, and coming back. We are now allowed to take our masks off in class, but many are keeping them on. We noticed that, in this moment, our work engages with the dynamics… Read more

    Mass History Conference registration open

    By / April 19, 2022

    Registration is OPEN! The Massachusetts History Alliance invites you to the 2022 Mass History Conference: Embracing the New or Unexpected, to be held June 6 and 7, 2022.In the spirit of this year’s conference theme, we’ll be trying something new. We’ll gather Monday, June 6 at Historic Beverly’s Hale Farm and Tuesday, June 7 online for two… Read more

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