Oral History Participants WANTED
Since 2009, in partnership with the Sunset High School history department, the library has recorded numerous local immigrant oral histories. If you know of an immigrant to the area who would like to be interviewed for our project, contact Mark at 503-644-0043 x131. Read more...
Last year, Susanna Breiling, Jo McCutcheon, Charity Spires, Henry Wang and Cleo Leigh shared their perspectives with Sunset High students about moving here from China, Sweden, Argentina, Guam and England.
Matt Hiefield, a history teacher at Sunset, has been using the recordings to create lesson plans to share on the Teacher Source district-wide curriculum website. The Beaverton School District has asked Jim Tsugawa and Chann Noun to come in to do video interviews with students to include with some of these lessons. There is potential to expand the program to include more schools and other types of oral histories, particularly veterans.
In addition to this program, in 2012, we started recording our own story by interviewing some of the library founders.
From a personal perspective, listening to and editing the recordings has been a special treat for the project's coordinator, Mark Richarson, Young Adult & Reference Library. You can really start to understand the impacts of war, dislocation, and even policy decisions when you hear these stories. The benefit of having students conducting the interviews is that participants will often open up and share more with students who do not know the history behind the events. When listening to the library founders, Mark gained a huge appreciation for the value of volunteering and what it means to sustain a volunteer project on the scale of a library for 38+ years.
We are currently working with volunteers to transcribe the recordings to enhance their usefulness in the future.