Flying Tiger – WWII US Veteran

World War II veteran Kirk Kirkpatrick enthralled dozens of guests at the Touchmark retirement community’s Men’s Club meeting on May 1. The 89-year-old Flying Tiger presented an oral history of the famed fighting force, stationed in China during the war.  Wearing his bomber jacket, Kirkpatrick traced the evolution of the Flying Tigers from volunteer organization to its assimilation into the Army Air Corps 23rd Fighter Group. For full story click here.

Kansas Farm History

For southeast Kansas farmers, the Great Depression marked the beginning of a transformation as machines replaced horses and the government undertook an effort to bring power to rural communities.  Forty-five farm families who lived through this period have shared their stories through an oral history project undertaken by the Southeast Kansas Farm History Center.  For full story (with links) click here.

Oral History Award (USA)

The Rutgers Living History Society will present its Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award to Isabel Wilkerson, whose epic history, The Warmth of Other Suns: the Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (Random House, 2010), tells the story of the 20th-century migration of African Americans from the south to the north.  The Rutgers Living History Society, comprised of participants in the Rutgers Oral History Archives program, will present the Ambrose Award to Wilkerson at its annual meeting on May 11.  For full story, click here.

56 Up

The launch of the Listening Project by the BBC and the British Library coincides with the return next month of another pioneering work of oral history: 56 Up, the latest in Michael Apted’s now eight-part series stretching over almost half a century, following a group of ordinary Britons from the age of seven into what is now deep middle age.  For full story click here.

Murray Darling Project

The Mildura office of Goulburn Murray Water contains a number of archives which hark back to the period when the lock was being built. Although these archives are fairly accessible to anyone looking for them, not a lot has been done on the history of this time. “There isn’t a great deal on record about this period,” says Helen Stagg – who recently completed a Masters in oral history on the topic. For full story, click here.

Andre Navarre Project

On the night of September 27, 1926, the rafters of the Causeway Hall (still standing at Kingston) were rattled by a kind of music never before heard in the young and still culturally impoverished Canberra. It was opera and one of the celebrity rafter-rattlers brought in for the great occasion (staged by the Canberra Philharmonic Society) was the once famous but now almost forgotten Andre Navarre (1898-1940).  But he’s not forgotten by the National Film and Sound Archive and yesterday his daughter Andree Navarre was at the archive to enable that institution to do oral history interviews with her, for posterity. For full story click here.

Oral history of Dr. Kazuo Inamori

The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) has completed its extensive oral history of Dr. Kazuo Inamori, a pioneer in the field of engineered ceramics who, at 80, is regarded as one of Japan’s most respected living entrepreneurs. The institution’s renowned Oral History Program compiles interviews with leaders in the fields of science and industry as a means to record the personal experiences of those who have improved our world. Click here for full story.

2010 Gulf Oil Spill

Two years after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, The University of Southern Mississippi Center for Oral History continues its work capturing the stories of those whose livelihood depends on the Gulf Coast’s seafood industry, which was threatened by the ecological disaster.  With the support of a grant from the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Center has talked with crabbers, shrimpers and oyster harvesters across the Gulf of Mexico about the challenges the disaster has presented to their way of life and the foodways of the region. Interviews have been conducted in Alabama, including in Grand Bay and the Bayou La Batre area, and in St. Bernard Parish, New Orleans East, and Houma, La.  Click here for full story.

Milwaukee Transgender Oral History Project

The UW-Milwaukee Archives Department has added a transgender-focused research piece to the LGBT collection. The Milwaukee Transgender Oral History Project is one of the first transgendered history projects completed in the area. Brice Smith completed the project for the archives department of the library.  Smith was asked by the UWM Archives Department to complete the transgender project to supplement research already completed on the LGBT community. For full story, click here.

Irish landowner descendants tell their story

The descendants of the large landowning Irish and Anglo-Irish families of the great houses have told their stories in an oral history project  launched at the National Library.  The “Great Houses of Ireland,” an oral history collection, comprises interviews with more than 100 members of prominent Irish and Anglo-Irish families conducted over three years by historians Maurice and Jane O’Keeffe of Tralee.  For full story, click here.