Equipping Communities & Individuals: BUIOH Workshops
August 13: Stephen Sloan, Clayton Genealogical Society, Houston, TX
October 12: Stephen Sloan, Elinor Mazé, and Michelle Holland, Oral History Association preconference workshop, "Motivate, Organize, Train, and Accomplish: Oral History and Community-Based Practice," Denver, Colorado
In July 2009, April and July 2010, and April and July 2011, the Institute offered its online oral history workshop, "Getting Started with Oral History." More than a hundred students have spent six hours each online with us, receiving instruction in project planning, interviewing techniques, and processing practices. Students have joined us online from Canada, Mexico, and the Panama Canal, as well as from Australia, Israel, and Azerbaijan. Other participants have joined us from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Utah, and Wyoming--and, of course, from across Texas. The benefits of electronic technology allowed us to accept students from around the world and to provide them dozens of valuable documents to help jump-start their oral history projects, as well as to interact with them through online audio. Comments from participants have been enthusiastic and positive. We will offer the workshop again in April 2012.
Museums often invite us to teach them the basics of oral history research. Elinor Mazé led workshops for two museums in 2010. In May, she presented, "Your History, Your Voice: An Introduction to Collecting Oral History," for the Keystone Square Museum in Lampasas and the Lampasas Public Library as part of the Lampasas observance of International Museum Day. Then, in August, Elinor presented "Digitization of Oral Histories for Preservation and Access" for the Collection Managers Committee, an affinity group of the Texas Association of Museums. Her presentation was part of a daylong workshop titled "Preserving History's Stories: Creating, Preserving and Interpreting Oral Histories," hosted by the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. In July 2011, Stephen Sloan presented a well-received oral history workshop for Dallas's African American Museum.
National professional organizations frequently invite us to conduct preconference workshops. On March 19, 2011, Stephen Sloan and Elinor Mazé organized a daylong oral history preconference workshop in Houston for the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians. Titled "Viva Voce: Researching the Past with Oral History," the workshop covered the basics of oral history in the morning and offered a showcase of innovative oral history work in the afternoon. Showcase presenters were Todd Moye, director of the University of North Texas Oral History Program, speaking on publishing oral history, and Louis Kyriakoudes, director of the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, University of Southern Mississippi, along with Stephen Sloan, speaking on using oral history to document crisis and disaster. On October 12, 2011, in Denver, Colorado, Stephen Sloan, Elinor Mazé, and Michelle Holland will lead a half-day workshop on community oral history for the Oral History Association.
Also, in 2010-2011, Stephen Sloan, Lois Myers, and Elinor Mazé led oral history workshops--in Waco, Austin, Houston, Tyler, McKinney, Dallas, and Fort Worth--focusing specifically on the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Stephen Sloan, along with Texas Historical Commission military historian, William McWhorter, spoke on oral history for the Korean War Sixtieth Anniversary Conference in Victoria, Texas, in June 2010, and also conducted veteran interviews during the conference.
Universities and community colleges have likewise enlisted our help in learning about oral history. In April 2011, Stephen Sloan spoke to classes at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, and Lois Myers, will speak in November to a public history class at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. A contingent of teachers, library personnel, and deans from Tarrant County Community College visited the Institute in May to learn ways oral history and an oral history center can expand their research base and enhance their students' educational experience.
Workshops during 2010 and 2011 for genealogical groups have included the TxGenWeb coordinators state meeting, in Waco, the Blackland chapter of the Texan German Heritage Society, in Temple, the Central Texas Genealogical Society, in Waco, and the Navarro County Genealogical Society, in Corsicana. We presented a roundtable on oral history for the statewide Texas Genealogical Society meeting in Waco in November 2010.
Local history groups and classroom teachers in Goliad, Denton, Marlin, Mart, Fredericksburg, and Kerrville have also received training from Institute staff during these two busy years.
In early 2010, the Institute wound up its oral history training for the Texas Historical Commission's Here and There: Texas In World War II initiative with a final workshop in El Paso led by Stephen Sloan. For the two previous years, Stephen Sloan, Elinor Mazé, and Lois Myers carried oral history training across the state, to Center, Paris, Panhandle, Frisco, Del Rio, San Angelo, Fort Worth, Amarillo, Midland, Brownwood, Sweetwater, San Antonio, Lubbock, Tyler, College Station, Corpus Christi, Houston, Brownsville, Waco, Victoria, Palestine, and Galveston. As we have traveled the state to proclaim the importance of gathering the stories of veterans, we made many friends and learned interesting new information about the role Texas played in World War II. We also interviewed several veterans, as well as people who experienced life-changing effects on the home front during the war, and helped THC compile a manual on interviewing veterans.