Public History Matters: Oral History for the Twenty-First Century

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Book Review: Fostering Family History Services: A Guide for Librarians, Archivists, and Volunteers. American Association for State and Local History

The Social Voice Project is mentioned in the chapter, “Oral History for the Twenty-First Century,” alongside StoryCorps (Library of Congress, National Public Radio) and the internationally acclaimed Memoro Project as a significant public history program that captures, preserves, and shares the voices and stories of our local communities.

In reaction, we respond: “TSVP began as a forward thinking, grass-roots oral history project,” says executive producer Kevin Farkas, “and over the years we’ve been able to capture, preserve, and share hundreds of voices and stories from communities throughout Western Pennsylvania.

“Unfortunately, time is never on our side,” explains Mr. Farkas. “Too many of our elders pass away before we can preserve their stories for our families, communities, and future generations.

“That’s why we encourage every local historical society and museum to have some kind of active oral history program.

“We must be more focused on living history and engage communities in real time,” Mr. Farkas advises. “And with today’s affordable digital media technology and some trained guidance, it is possible for every local history organization and museum to have an oral history program to better serve their communities in the 21st century.”

Learn more about TSVP’s oral history and museum media services: