Using oral history archives

“The Southern Oral History Program is guided by the philosophy that “you don’t have to be famous for your life to be history.” Since 1973, it has collected 6,000 interviews that document the American South.” The program has a competition for people who use the archived oral histories and bring them into the present. Perhaps we could do that here. Read the full story and listen to an interview with the winners of the competition here.

Japanese Americans in WWII

U.S. occupation forces landing in Japan at the end of World War II immediately needed staff who could communicate with the defeated Japanese. Japanese American soldiers formed the core of the translation and interpretation service, putting them in the often awkward position of being conquerors who shared a heritage with the enemy. One of the most common questions they were asked by the Japanese was: “What is democracy?” Read full story here.

Retirement Village Oral Histories

“Condensing more than 100 years of history into 23 minutes is no easy task. But that’s what Phil Audibert is doing as he works with Dogwood Village to capture the life stories of some of its residents for “Memories: An Oral History Project.” For full story (with video trailer at bottom of article) click here.

Busselton Oral History

After nearly a year’s work, a book detailing the history of the City of Busselton through the accounts of its residents past and present has been released.  Busselton Life in Snips & Snaps was written and edited by Dr Colleen Liston with photo-editing by Heather Hill for the Busselton Oral History Group and details the past, present and personal histories of Geographe Bay.  Group president Margaret Dawson helped by providing many old photographs.  The book includes excerpts from more than 450 hours of oral history interviews that have been recorded over a 32-year period by volunteers.  For full story click here.

Academic wins award for oral history work in Ireland

IT IS fair to say that Dr Anna Bryson is a good listener – and now has a major award to prove it. Over the course of a fast-tracked career as a historian and now senior research fellow at the School of Law at Queen's University, Belfast, the 40-year-old has specialised in listening to stories from the past – in a concerted bid to inform the future. For full story click here.

New “Jackie” Movie

One week after an assassin’s bullet exploded John F. Kennedy’s head on a street in downtown Dallas, Jackie Kennedy, deeply traumatised by what she had witnessed, summoned journalist Theodore H. White to her Hyannis Port home in Massachusetts for an ­interview.  In the subsequent article, published in Life’s December 6 issue, Jackie gave birth to the Camelot myth that would define the Kennedy legacy. As they tussled over what White could and could not print, Jackie sought to influence how her slain husband would be remembered.  Read full article here.

Port Augusta Pollution

One person who was always certain about the root cause of health problems in Port Augusta was the fierce long-time mayor of the town, the late Joy Baluch. Baluch lost her husband – a non-smoker – to lung cancer, and had a child with severe asthma. In her many trips to Adelaide hospitals to seek treatment, she found many children from her town, all suffering similar problems. She was contemptuous of government attempts to blame smoking and other factors for the town’s burden of disease. In an oral history project recorded in 2008, she said pollution from the power stations was the spur for her entering local government. For full story click here.