A conversation about digital archives

By / February 2, 2021

  Conversations on the Commons invites you to: Archives’ Hour with the State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) February 5, 2021, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. A conversation with Alejandra Dean, Digital Archivist at the Massachusetts Archives, and Evan Knight, Preservation Specialist for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). Join us for an informal… Read more

Massachusetts state grant for preserving veteran heritage, including oral history

By / January 29, 2021

The State Historic Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) just announced a grant for preserving veteran’s heritage. Municipalities, libraries, schools, and nonprofits in Massachusetts are eligible to apply for up to $20,000 to fund monuments and memorials, conservation, oral history projects, or archival projects relating to Veterans’ history. While projects do need to be related to Veteran’s… Read more

What we have been doing

By / December 4, 2020

With the days cooler – and shorter – and work happening at home rather than on campus,  we are doing quite a lot of zooming. But we are also attending to the all-important back end of things, tightening up policies, and making sure everything is saved and ready to go into the UMass archives. We… Read more

Columbia MA Oral History Open House

By / November 12, 2020

There is still time to sign-up for the Columbia University virtual open house on November 16th 9:00-11:00am. Open Houses Include: An information session A chance to virtually meet OHMA students and alums Presentation by OHMA Alum: Alissa Rae Funderburk A mini-interviewing workshop, taught by OHMA Director Amy Starecheski Alum Presentation: Alissa Rae Funderburk is the… Read more

Sharing Stories and Listening: NAACP Oral History Project Exhibition

By / October 25, 2020

Sharing Stories: The Importance of Oral Histories and Listening in These Unprecedented Times.   The Berkshire Museum has created a virtual tour of the NAACP Berkshire Branch Oral History Project and it is available for viewing in a few different ways.  You may explore it with this link.  https://explore.berkshiremuseum.org/their-stories-oral-histories-from-the-naacp The NAACP Oral History Project was… Read more

400 Years and Beyond: Commemorating historic events in the twenty-first century

By / October 20, 2020

Conversations on the Commons invites you to: 400 Years and Beyond: Commemorating historic events in the twenty-first century October 23, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. A Conversation with Linda Coombs, program director at the Aquinnah Cultural Center, Desiree Mobed, Director at the Alden House Historic Site, and Michelle Pecoraro, Executive Director of Plymouth 400After… Read more

Our Stories: NAACP and Sharing stories in these unprecedented times

By / October 9, 2020

The Berkshire Museum presented panel discussion on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Judith Monachina, Dennis Powell, and Len Kates discussed the NAACP Oral History Project and the exhibit at the Museum that featured that project.  The panel was seen on PCTV, live, and also via the Museum’s virtual conferencing platform, Ring. Craig Langlois, Berkshire Museum Chief… Read more

Archiving Your Gigabytes: Preserving COVID-19 and Other Digital Collections

By / October 6, 2020

Conversations on the Commons invites you to: Archiving Your Gigabytes: Preserving COVID-19 and Other Digital Collections October 9, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. A Conversation with Veronica Martzahl, Digital Records Archivist at the Massachusetts Archives, Kathie Gow, Curator of the Hatfield Historical Society, and Vanessa Formato, archivist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Covid-diaries,… Read more

Do-It-Yourself Oral History Workshop

By / September 15, 2020

Do-It-Yourself Oral History •Do you have school-age kids at home? •Are you a teacher looking for a virtual project? •Or,  are  you just feeling stuck in place? It may be time to tell stories Learn some do-it-yourself oral history practices • Interview tips • Recording technology • Safe Storage • Professional protocols September 30, 4-5… Read more

Mum Bett exhibition and Mum Bett Walk to Freedom this weekend in Sheffield

By / August 20, 2020

The Sheffield Historical Society will present an outdoor exhibit celebrating Mum Bett, the first slave to successfully sue for freedom, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday to Sunday, Aug. 21 to 23, on the Society grounds, 159 Main St., next to the Town Hall parking lot. The exhibit is a collaboration with the Trustees… Read more

READ In of WEB Du Bois Black Reconstruction in America, with actors of stage and screen

By / August 18, 2020

Beginning Aug. 28 and running through Nov. 3, actors of stage and screen will do a marathon Read In of Black Reconstruction in America.  By W.E.B. Du Bois Here is a link to the Read In Series site: https://thereadinseries.com/ Here is our podcast about how the Read In happened: a talk with MiRi Park about… Read more

Reopening, Part III, Conversations on the Commons

By / July 21, 2020

Conversations on the Commons invites you to: Reopening, Part III: Planning for the fall A conversation with Lesley Herzberg and Katie MacDonald It’s official: we’re now in Phase III. While some places are staying closed through the summer, others are back to welcoming the public, with modifications. In these unprecedented times, history organizations across the… Read more

Columbia University and Oral History Association offer anti-oppression workshops

By / July 21, 2020

On July 25th our first in a series of anti-oppression workshops will be taking place and we invite you to join us! Oral history has a strong tradition as a progressive practice, focused on amplifying marginalized voices typically giving powerful platforms to speak in public. Oral historians have documented the stories of struggles for justice… Read more

Black Lives Matter protests and history organizations: Partner, collect, change?

By / July 7, 2020

If you are a subscriber to the Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center blog or are working on a history organization project related to Black Lives Matter,  please come to this meeting.  And if you would like to talk with me about it beforehand, please email: jmonachina@berkshirecc.edu I will be helping to lead the discussion, and… Read more

Link your oral history collection to our site

By / July 3, 2020

If you are building an oral history collection and would like people to know about it, let us help you get the word out.  We are creating a page on this site to link to oral history projects from the region.   We can also talk with you about archives and safe storage for your… Read more

Oral History Center to hire someone for short-term oral history inventory project

By / June 25, 2020

Oral History Center to hire someone for short-term oral history inventory project The Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center, working with four local history organizations – Sharon, Kent, and Salisbury, Connecticut, and Sheffield, Massachusetts – will hire someone to conduct oral history inventories in the history organizations of the four towns.  The goal of the project… Read more

University of Massachusetts and University of Connecticut archiving partners with the Oral History Center

By / June 5, 2020

Archiving Partner, University of Massachusetts Amherst Since the opening of the Oral History Center the the University of Massachusetts Libraries Special Collections has worked with us to make our oral history practice truly sustainable. They have done so by working with us to take the oral history collections of our region, who work through the… Read more

Conversations on the Commons: Reopening in an Unprecedented Era

By / June 2, 2020

On Friday, June 5, from 1:00-2:30 PM, join Ken Turino (manager of Community Partnerships and Resource Development at Historic New England), Pleun Bouricius (curator of the Plainfield Historical Society and President of the Mass. History Alliance), and moderator Margo Shea (Assistant Professor of History at Salem State University) for a discussion on the reopening process…. Read more

A friend and an ally, Rob Cox

By / May 14, 2020

In memory of Rob Cox, Head of the Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) at the University of Massachusetts Library Rob Cox died earlier this week.  We are very sad to lose such a friend and ally. Rob was an important person in the development of our Center.  He helped our then new Oral History… Read more

Stockbridge Library asks kids to help them document pandemic

By / May 5, 2020

  Our current pandemic and Global Pause mean that all of us are living in unprecedented times. Youth Librarian Jenney Maloy would like to invite children ages 4 to 18 to share their daily experiences and thoughts to help create a historical record of this moment. Future generations will be able to visit the Procter… Read more

Essential Workers Oral History

By / April 9, 2020

Essential workers Oral History Project The Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College will interview 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… Read more

A time for listening

By / April 3, 2020

You may be working remotely, on furlough, not working, or just feeling insecure.  This may be a time for listening to some stories of resilience.  Most life stories, it turns out, have some of that in them. Some have lots.   Below, you will find some links to stories. And remember, soon we will be doing… Read more

Podcasting workshop will be held online

By / March 17, 2020

Our podcasting workshop series on April 7, 14, and 21, 1-3, at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, will be held online, via Zoom.  The workshop is free of charge, and sponsored by the Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College, which is a collaborative project of Housatonic Heritage and Berkshire Community College. This… Read more

Next Podcasting Oral History Workshop in April

By / February 14, 2020

  We will host another podcasting workshop series April 7, 14, and 21, 1-3, at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield.  The workshop is free of charge, and sponsored by the Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College, which is a collaborative project of Housatonic Heritage and Berkshire Community College. This time, Reinout van… Read more

UMass graduate students create online version of NAACP Oral History Project exhibit

By / December 31, 2019

In February, 2019, the NAACP Oral History Project exhibit opened at the Berkshire Museum.  It closed in May.  But now, thanks to two University of Massachusetts students, studying with Professor of History Sam Redman, Helen Kyriakoudes and Rachel Panasci Lima, that exhibit is online.  You can see the link to Their Stories here .  Thank… Read more

NYC exhibit and event gives new ways to highlight oral histories

By / November 19, 2019

  We all have stories in our archives.  We know it is best to bring the stories out, for people to hear and see them.  But how?  One idea:   Involve the narrator, maybe she or he will have an idea.  That was the case in a recent event in New York Last weekend, I attended… Read more

National Parks Service Oral History webinar on choosing audio or video for oral history: Thursday, Nov. 7 at 3 p.m.

By / November 5, 2019

Choosing Equipment for Oral History Projects The second webinar in the “Effective Oral History” series will be held this Thursday at 3 p.m. They will discuss factors to consider when deciding whether to use audio or video equipment when recording oral history interviews. Budget, staff, storage capacity, and project goals all affect equipment choices. Sponsored… Read more

The NAACP Oral History Project Exhibit to continue, online

By / October 26, 2019

The NAACP Oral History Project Exhibit, a collaboration of the Housatonic Heritage Oral History Center at Berkshire Community College, the NAACP – Berkshire Branch, and the Berkshire Museum, opened on Feb. 1, 2019 and closed on May 5. Now, thanks to Sam Redman, professor of oral history at the University of Massachusetts, two graduate students… Read more

Monterey Oral History project interviews online

By / September 26, 2019

As you know, we are working with the University of Massachusetts Libraries Special Collections to archive and make available the oral history project interviews that we do in our region.  The   Monterey Library was one of the first organizations the Oral History Center worked with, helping Wendy Germain, project coordinator, by sponsoring an intern… Read more

UBU Theater Work-In-Progress

By / September 5, 2019

  Next July (2020), Ann Gallo of UBU Theater (https://ubutheater.org/about),  based in Tyringham, Mass., will direct Women of Tyringham, a play based on 32 oral history interviews that she conducted.  Ann lives in Tyringham, and has directed community based theater in her town. But this is her first play based on oral history, and so… Read more

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