Saturday, July 11, 2009

RE: [PioneerValleyHistoricalSocieties] Oral History Projects in Western Massachusetts

Dear Mr. Judge,

Wonderful to hear from you! Thanks very much for your email. This is great news and we will certainly add this to the database, and will keep an eye/ear out for students interested in internship or volunteer work with the South Hadley Historical Society.

I am meeting with Joyce Berkman, who is a Professor of History at UMass and is leading this project, tomorrow afternoon to discuss the next steps. We are still in the early stages of drumming up support and interest in contributing, but I will make sure that all of the information you indicated below is added to the site. And once we get the wiki up and running, I will be sure to let you know.

In the meantime, if you hear of any oral history projects that other individuals or organizations are working on, we would greatly appreciate it if you could spread the word!

Thanks so much for your interest, and I look forward to speaking with you again soon. Please do let me know if you have any questions!

Best wishes,

Laura

Quoting BobJudge :

Dear Laura:

I think I met you once at a meeting with Marla Miller.

The South Hadley Historical Society does not now have an oral history project "currently being conducted." However, an oral history project that was begun in 2007 was not completed and the Society would like to complete it.

You can see information about the project at http://home.comcast.net/~southhadleyhistoricalsociety/oralhistory.html. In my opinion, as a non-historian, the main work that needs to be done is to complete the preparation of the written transcripts from the oral interviews, which exist in MP3 files. However, I am open to other ideas about how to re-start the work on the project.

As you can see, the S. Hadley Historical Society worked with Mt. Holyoke College on this project, and that collaboration worked well.

We would look forward to a collaboration with UMASS!

Below I will respond to the information you requested in CAPTIOL LETTERS below each item. I look forward to hearing from you further!

Sincerely,

Bob Judge
Member
South Hadley Historical Society
http://southhadleyhistoricalsociety.blogspot.com/
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The University of Massachusetts and the Five College Oral History Seminar are working together to build an online database of oral history projects that are currently being conducted in Western Massachusetts. It is our hope that the database will be a valuable resource for individuals and organizations conducting oral histories in the area, by facilitating connections between oral historians and publicizing local projects that they can utilize or contribute to. We also hope that the database will serve as a resource for graduate and undergraduate students with an interest in oral history, providing them with potential contacts in the local oral history community and opportunities to work on projects taking place here in Western Massachusetts.

If your organization in Western Massachusetts has any oral history projects that are currently in progress that you would like to see added to this database, please email Laura Miller at lamil1@history.umass.edu with the following information:

- The title and a short description of the oral history project.
REMEMBERING SOUTH HADLEY HIGH SCHOOL
- Whether your organization would be willing to accept interns or work with students interested in oral history, and what kinds of opportunities may be available in this regard.
YES! IN MY OPINION, THE MAIN TASK IS TO COMPLETE THE TRANSCRIPTION OF THE ORAL INTERVIEWS (ALREADY IN MP3 FORMAT) INTO WRITTEN FORMAT. HOWEVER, I AM OPEN TO OTHER IDEAS ABOUT WHAT WE CAN DO TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OR SCOPE OF THE PROJECT AS IT HAS BEEN COMPLETED TO DATE.
- Who to contact for more information about the oral history project name, address, phone number, and email address).
BOB JUDGE, 180 NORTH MAIN STREET, SOUTH HADLEY MA 01075, BOBJUDGE@COMCAST.NET

The database will be created as a wiki, meaning that once the initial structure of the site is in place any organization or individual will be able to visit the site and add new projects or make changes to existing descriptions of projects.

We are eager to foster a collaborative community of oral historians in Western Massachusetts, and hope you will join us in this endeavor.

Thank you!

Laura Miller
Ph.D. student, Department of History
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
lamil1@history.umass.edu

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