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Posts Tagged ‘local history collections’

FEATURE | Quintuplets and a Barber’s Memory: It’s All Local History to Me!

As a local history librarian, I read with great interest that Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been amassing video interviews of music legends for an ongoing oral history project. It is encouraging to learn that they, too, recognize the value of this preservation format in collecting first-person history. With greater interest, I read further that they recently inter­viewed four greats together: Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino. But they ran into some difficulty. Little Richard dominated the interview, and they had to tape the other three individually the next day. These museum curators were unaware of the dangers of the multiple-person interview. Less can equal more. Oral histories are most effective when the interviews are one-on-one. How do I know this, and why is it of interest to me? Over the past ten years at Way Public Library (WPL) in Perrysburg (OH), I have conducted dozens of oral history interviews.

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Bringing New Life to Local History Programming

Do you work with a local history collection? Are you constantly striving to develop new programming initiatives to highlight your rare and unique materials? Or are you looking to bring in new library users—or, perhaps, even attract non-users who might not be aware of an element of the collection that matches their interests? At the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, I attended the PLA-sponsored program, Hip History: Promoting Archives and Special Collections with Creative Programming. Each of the speakers was from the Sacramento Room, site of Special Collections of the Sacramento Public Library. The three speakers were: Amanda Graham, Library Services Specialist/Archivist; James Scott, Librarian; and, Lori Easterwood, Programming Supervisor.