Survivors of 1943 Bengal Famine

The notorious Bengal famine of 1943, which killed an estimated 35 million, many people sought a home in the Sunderbans in general and K-Plot in particular. Most of them were from Midnapore district, which was the worst affected. Turns out many of these famine survivors managed to give both tide and time a slip and are still around to tell their olden tale.  Read full story here.

Evelyn Berezin, Computer Scientist

Evelyn Berezin, a computer scientist who designed the world’s first word processor, has died at the age of 93.  In addition to revolutionizing how the world writes, Berezin also developed the first computer system for making airline reservations — and an automated banking system, a weapons-targeting calculator and gambling terminals for horse tracks, according to the BBC. Read the full story with a link to her oral history video recording here.

New Zealand Oral History Podcasts

Launched in late 2018, the New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA) Oral History podcast delves into the organisation’s archives, sharing authors’ stories of ‘fighting institutions, government—and sometimes, each other—to advocate for writer’s rights’, according to host Karyn Hay. The podcast ‘is an inside look at surviving as a writer and the battles NZSA authors have fought on behalf of all writers in Aotearoa’, said podcast producer Elizabeth (Libby) Kirkby-McLeod. She spoke to Books+Publishing for our ‘podcast spotlight’ series.  Read full story here.

Record your family history

Many people have pieced together their own family tree. But how much do you really know about the early lives of your living relatives, especially those with decades of stories to share?  To learn more, take the time to talk during family gatherings over Thanksgiving and the holiday season. And make sure to save that oral history for future generations: Record and preserve it with a multimedia digital archive, with video or audio, or with both. Here are five simple steps to get you started.  Read full article here.

Papua New Guinea Museum

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said “(It) is a breathtaking monument to Papua New Guinea’s rich cultural heritage, and importantly, it improves considerably the public’s access to this stunning collection of artefacts.  Modern technology expands its reach, the oral history website, interactive audio visual voices from the war exhibition. And I want to put the High Commissioner on notice. The next time I’m back, I needed enough time in the programme to have enough time to go through the oral history exhibition and the voices from the war. One of the reasons is that my father served in PNG.”  For full story click here.