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This topic began with Sunapee's e-mail, so it is re-printed first.
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listed in alphabetical order by town. At this writing (June, 2005) I have
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broaches the topic
Canterbury lists possibilities
Marlow begins with photos
New England Ski Museum instructs
Remick Farm Foundation recommends Dr.
Salisbury re-prints books, shares contact
Sugar Hill suggests workshop
Warner composes theater
Here's one of the topics we
are hoping to have a workshop on this Spring (2005): Oral History. I'd
like to hear what other people are doing with their oral histories. Obviously,
people are interviewed on taped, then a transcript can be made.
Then what? What do you do
with it? How do you make it useable? Do you publish it? I hate to see it put
into a file drawer and forgotten. Is someone out there that would like to make a
presentation to our local workshop group (about 20-30 people)?
Shaker Village, Jenna Plante:
I've worked with transcriptions of oral histories at
other historical societies. We put them into a binder
that was available to the public and indexed the
subjects discussed so people could browse by topic.
We always used them to enhance
exhibits and research projects.
Other institutions have created
theatrical productions with their oral histories,
by having a staff/volunteer member read from them (keeping the names anonymous
as necessary) in a program.
from the Marlow Historical
At the Harvest Festival, we
displayed a number of old-time Marlow photographs at our
Art Show. At the next meeting, Charlie Strickland explained each and told
related Marlow stories, all of which were recorded as the beginning of our
proposed Marlow oral history.
from the New England Ski
Museum's website, a good introductory page written ostensibly for
Many of the best stories about skiing in the old days have never been written
down. The stories are still in the memories of people. If you start
asking questions you can find someone with a story to tell. It may be
about an old ski area or about skiing on wooden skis with leather boots or about
riding a rope tow.
When you find someone with a
story to tell you should set up an interview. You need to be prepared for
the interview. Do some thinking about it so you have questions ready to
ask. You may want to use a video recorder or a tape recorder. (Make
sure it is working properly.) If you don't record the interview you will
need to take notes.
After the interview you
should write it down. This can be a lot of work but it is important to do
so that your research can be shared easily with others. You may not want
to write up the entire interview but only do the important parts. You may
want to write your questions and the answers to
Oral histories help save the stories of
skiing's past, they let you hear about skiing as it grew into the sport we love
from Remick Farm
A few years ago I went to a workshop on oral history led by
Judith Moyer. (email@example.com) She is really
excellent on this subject. I highly recommend her as a workshop leader. There
are new techniques for digitizing the audio portion of
old cassette tapes. We have used oral histories a lot in
research for our exhibits.
Hi from Salisbury:
Shaw published a book in 1990s entitled "They Said It In
Salisbury." After his death his family gave the Salisbury Historical
Society permission to reprint this and his two others--"Historic Salisbury
Houses" and "Lost In Salisbury."
reprinted "They Said It..." Gail Manyon Henry
interviewed 4 other born-in-Salisbury residents that we felt should have been
included in the original edition. These four interviews are now available
in two different ways and entitled "We Said It In Salisbury, Too." We have
an Addendum with just the four interviews and also a reprint of the entire book
with the four interviews in the back. They are very popular.
Gail Henry's mother was
Gladys Manyon who wrote a column in the Monitor for
years. I think Gail would be happy to share her interviewing techniques
from Sugar Hill:
I would be interested in Oral History workshop.
The Warner Historical Society, led by Judith Moyer, Ph.D., compiled oral
histories into a program that is sponsored by the NH Humanities Council,
entitled, It Had To Be Done, So I Did It. The description reads,
"This readers' theater presentation documents the daily
lives of women living in the rural town of Warner in the first half of the 20th
century. A troupe of actresses speaks the actual words of women
interviewed between 1983 and 1985. Nothing has been fictionalized.
The dramatic reading demonstrates the interconnections between work and family,
and it answers the question, 'Women didn't work back then...did they?'"
from the ed.:
Another resource may be Ms.
Frumie Selchen of the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire, which
has sponsored a school-historical society
collaboration on gathering local history which has resulted (2
years now) in a grand gathering of the clans for showing off the final
I do not know if the NH Division of
has any material, or, in fact, programs, about
oral histories. But Linda Wilson
may be reached at, firstname.lastname@example.org
A less-formal program could be put together in which various historical
societies come together for brainstorming, to answer for
themselves such questions as you have raised,
how do you gather it,
how do you save it,
what do you do with it,
how do you make it useable,
how do you publish it?
A goal for such a workshop may be for each society to leave with a policy
and protocol for the collection of oral