It’s the Spring 2014 semester for myself and fellow college students, but believe it or not, this girl isn’t complaining. I feel joy in returning to the mothership of all things educational especially this semester, I will be taking Oral History, a very important class towards my degree already underway. Not only am I personally interested in learning the history behind oral traditions and techniques for asking the right questions, I hope to use the knowledge I’ve gained to help others throughout the community conduct their very own oral histories, but most importantly polish the framework for the future conduction and preservation of oral histories here at the Museum.
That being said, I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite tips from an article posted by Diane Haadad at www.familytreemagazine.com (8/23/2011) titled 13 Tips for Oral History Interviewing:
Tip 1. Don't just look at the interview as an opportunity to do genealogical research. Rather, see it as a chance to spend time with a family member and let him or her talk about his life. The family stories and information will follow.
Tip 7. Looking at old photos can spark memories, so bring along several showing the people you want to ask about. Bring a family tree, too.
Tip 10. Never be without a notepad and pen at a family gathering. Family history can come up during the most casual conversations over dinner or during halftime.
Although the author focuses on blood-relatives; community leaders, neighbors, and teachers are great examples of possible interviewees. Without the many oral history programs capturing the lives of Boulder City’s first residents, our town’s archive would be lacking its dearest primary source.
Contact us for resources on conducting oral histories or set up an appointment to listen to one of over 100 oral histories in our collection. The Museum is open 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday. Visit our website at BCMHA.org for more information and make sure to check out our DAM Facts of the Day at Facebook.com/bouldercityhooverdammuseum.