Friday April 23, 2010

Stories told!

Eileen Dougan, Trish Levido & Margaret Evans

Eileen Dougan, Trish Levido & Margaret Evans at the oral history interview workshop

“Stories to Tell…” the National Trust Heritage Festival at Mosman Library is now over for another year.

Deviating from our usual festival exhibition program we tried something different – a series of workshops focusing on the story of ‘everyman’. The workshops included how to prepare for and do an oral history; how to write the family story in such a way that the reader can not put it down; and the seminar on publishing provided excellent hints on how to get that book onto the market.

The feedback from those attending has been fantastic with some going to all sessions. All stressed how inspired they were to get started immediately. Some who already had a mother, aunt or grandfather lined up for an interview felt they were now able to do the interview, while others who had already heard about the family skeleton were ready to tell their story. A few who had their document ready to go to press now have the confidence to find that publisher or even be the publisher.

While all most sessions were run by experienced professionals the demonstration of an oral history interview was led by two of Mosman Library’s oral history interviewers, Trish and Zoe. Trish started the session by relating some of her personal observations and then invited the audience to participate by interviewing the person next to them for 5 minutes. The room was buzzing with voices and laughter and after the group talked about how they felt and Trish and Zoe were able to provide advice on handling certain situations. The interview was great and as Trish and Zoe hadn’t prepared a script it was spontaneous.

For our final workshop, The Making of Our Digital Nation, we were pleased to have Rose Holley, Manager – Trove at the National Library of Australia, talk about digital projects like Australian Newspapers. She talked about a range of projects that anyone can volunteer their time to help preserve our extensive cultural and social heritage and to share their knowledge. We hope to make a video recording of the talk available soon.

— Posted by Donna Braye, Local Studies Librarian in  |  Permalink

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