Oral History Collection
Oral history refers both to a method of recording and preserving oral testimony and to the product of that process. It begins with an audio or video recording of a first person account made by an interviewer with an interviewee (also referred to as narrator), both of whom have the conscious intention of creating a permanent record to contribute to an understanding of the past. A verbal document, the oral history, results from this process and is preserved and made available in different forms to other users, researchers, and the public.
— Oral History Association
Our collection of oral histories now includes over 200 cassette or compact disk audio recordings and a number of video recordings. They are not available for check out but you are welcome to listen to any of them. A complete listing is available in the library. Just ask any Docent to help you.
Curious about a specific aspect of life on Bainbridge Island? The StoryShare Project provides resources for community members to pursue an oral history project that sparks their interest, or to interview friends, family members or community figures about their life on the island. All oral histories collected will be preserved in the archives of the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum for future generations. Some examples of potential projects include:
-Bainbridge Island Schools
-Farms on Bainbridge
-Island artwork and artists
-A specific decade or period of time on the island
… as well as any other possibilities you can think of!
As mentioned above, biographical oral histories are also rewarding and fun. If you know someone who has been here a long time or someone who may not have been here for very long, but has had a significant impact on the community, we encourage you to collect their story.
Not an experienced oral historian? No worries!
The museum has a number of resources related to collecting oral histories. Training for interviewing and equipment use is brief and times are flexible.
To listen to StoryShare stories, click here.