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Committee Meeting 10.00 am Saturday 2 August 2014, Room 4D, Level 4, State Library of Queensland, Brisbane.

Manhattan Project

The Manhattan Project, the top-secret World War II effort to build an atomic bomb, had a profound impact on the communities of northern New Mexico. The Atomic Heritage Foundation (AHF), a nonprofit in Washington, DC, is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the Manhattan Project history. As part of these efforts, AHF has been collaborating with local partners to collect and publish interviews with residents of northern New Mexico about their experiences. For full story click here.

Gay Marriage Campaign

Republican Tyler Deaton has known he was attracted to men as far back as he can remember. When he was four or five, he would draw himself marrying another man. “I knew I was different in that way before I’d ever even been taught it was wrong,” he says.  Deaton was part of a conservative evangelical Christian family living in Georgia. He was taught to live by the Bible as the literal word of God. And he did, in a lot of ways. But he also knew that he was gay and that it wasn’t going to change. For full story click here.

Story For All Projects

At Story For All, our goal is to expose disenfranchised communities to the power of oral history for the purpose of healing, building skills, elevating an authentic narrative, and ultimately transforming communities and systems through policy reform. We do this by training community members in oral history methodology, then supporting them in recording, archiving, and reflecting on their own communities’ stories and wisdom through art, dialogue, policy recommendations, and public presentations. Our process was designed with the understanding that the sharing of stories through oral history has multiple beneficial impacts, especially for historically marginalized communities whose stories, values, and cultures have been subsumed by the often-negative narratives promoted by the dominant culture. As stories have been weaponized to use against such communities, our narrative change approach is literally a method for individuals and communities to take back their story, as well as their culture. Additionally, by supporting communities in documenting their own stories, we create a culture of storytellers, like the griots of West Africa. Instead of the stories and wisdom being extracted from the community, they reside within the hearts and minds of present and future community leaders.  For full story click here.

Nurses’ quarters at Forbes Hospital

On one of our regular walks up Hospital Hill recently we noticed the auction/for sale sign on Ford House the old nurses quarters and latterly part of the local health service.  I started to tell Ollie about Ken Ford, a family friend of my grandfather after whom the residence was named.  It also occurred to me that not many people would know of Ken Ford and indeed many of the others whose names have been gifted to other parks and places in Forbes. For full story click here.

Oral History of Dublin Food

The brief was to follow the journey of food from the Docklands, to the market, to the table – to gather stories, recipes, and oral histories.  Over nine months, the trio met with community groups, and fine-tuned the project with interviews and events.  The Docklands is synonymous with Dublin’s food heritage, said Declan Byrne, who worked as a docker from 1972 to 2000.  For full story click here.

Soviet Jews who migrated to USA

Practicing Judaism was prohibited in the Soviet Union and Jews were discriminated against for work and education, leading many to leave the country.  Sean Martin, associate curator for Jewish History at the Cleveland History Center said the immigrants’ archive was an important addition to other archives they have on Cleveland-area Jews who led initiatives to help Soviet Jews relocate.  Read full article and go to link with interviews here.

USA veterans remembered

With Memorial Day in the U.S. right around the corner, we’re bringing you a glimpse into a handful of oral history projects focused on collecting and preserving the memories of military veterans. Check them out, and mention your favorite projects in the comments. For full article click here.


“Australian Lives: An Intimate History” book launched

A new book Australian Lives: An Intimate History by Anisa Puri and Alistair Thomson (Monash University Press) $39.95  provides glimpses of Australian lives from the 1920s to the 1980s. Culled from 1500 hours of oral history interviews, the ebook will link each story to the National Library of Australia's online collection so readers can listen to the story direct.  See full story here.

Indigenous Americans’ Oral Histories

Take a walk through downtown Asheville and you’re bound to run across some symbol or image of Western North Carolina’s mountain heritage. From stores peddling traditional crafts to the overalls-clad busker with banjo in hand, the history of the Southern Appalachians still looms large in the region’s identity and the way it portrays itself to visitors.  Seeking to preserve the region’s history and traditional culture, local organizations and researchers are working to document the lives and wisdom of WNC’s elders, believing that this provides invaluable context for the area’s present and future.  For full story click here.

Canberra students collect oral histories

Old Parliament House is not the only Canberra landmark to celebrate its 90th anniversary this year.  Across the lake that in 1927 was nothing more than a river bordering sheep paddocks, the Ainslie School has celebrated nine decades of teaching with the help of its current crop of students.  For full story click here.