Collecting Irish Songs

“A small collective of intrepid and inquisitive young Irish musicians have taken it upon themselves to rescue a tradition of song when perhaps no-one else was willing to listen. With an emphasis on the Irish, Scottish, and English traveler communities, their project aims to put the elders of a nearly-past generation in front of a microphone, to enshrine their songs and stories for musicians and folklorists to hear and study for all time.” Read full story here, link to website here.

“Soul Talk” OH Workshop

“Kelly Elaine Navies discusses oral history as the documentation of history and culture, as well as offer guidelines for recording the stories of people in your family and community. She gives advice on how to get started and plays a few short clips from fascinating interviews that exemplify best practices — and show just how important and moving your subjects’ replies may be.” Check out this story with it’s excellent tutorial video here.

Proposed Irish OH Project

“Northern Ireland’s Secretary of State Brandon Lewis proposes a series of measures to address the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland which features three key proposals: a new independent body to “focus on the recovery and provision of information about Troubles-related deaths and serious injuries;” a “major oral history initiative;” and a statute of limitations to apply equally to all Troubles-related incidents.” Read full story and watch video of the proposal here.

Slaves Oral History

This book one of the best telling the story of slavery using oral histories collected in the 1930s. “In the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration commissioned an oral history of the remaining former slaves. Bullwhip Days is a remarkable compendium of selections from these extraordinary interviews, providing an unflinching portrait of the world of government-sanctioned slavery of Africans in America.” To listen to the slave narratives here.

Australian Journalists Project

“The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (the journalist’s union) estimates up to 5,000 Australian journalists have left the industry over the past decade. The New Beats study has been charting what happened to journalists after they left, including through regular surveys. In partnership with the National Library of Australia, we have also conducted “whole-of-life” interviews with close to 60 journalists for the library’s oral history collection. ‘Upheaval: Disrupted Lives in Journalism‘, tells their story. It aims to give a picture of what it was like to work in journalism when the media had resources and a lot of influence and then what happened as disruption began in earnest during the mid-2000s.” Read full story here.

Let the Record Show

“Sarah Schulman’s superlative new book, “Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993,” about AIDS activism during a time when the disease was blotting out queer communities in the US. The 700-some-page tome is a bracing addition to an ongoing field of research and testimony on AIDS history, a corrective to previous accounts that have elevated some perspectives over others and latched onto only a handful of figures.” Read the full story about the book here and listen to an interview with the author here.

Fire Lookouts Project

“When Beth Hodder was asked in 2016 to help preserve the living history of those who staffed the fire lookouts in Northwest Montana, she had no idea of the great journey that was ahead of her. As a board member of the Northwest Montana Lookout Association, Hodder already was volunteering her time to help preserve the aging fire lookout towers on mountaintops around the area, but this new project provided a chance to help preserve their history in a different way. Read full story here and listen to the interviews here.