In classrooms at Lafayette and as a partner on the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium, DSS supports the building and exploration of oral history collections.
Digital Scholarship Services was recently featured in the Lafayette News piece “Listening to the Public Record.” The piece highlights DSS’s collaboration with a Lafayette English course on an online exhibit in partnership with the oral history non-profit Texas After Violence Project. The Texas After Violence Project Digital Archive features primary sources such as letters and family photos donated by the family of Charlie Brooks, Jr., the first person executed in the U.S. by lethal injection. DSS Director Charlotte Nunes’s article “‘Connecting to the Ideologies That Surround Us’: Oral History Stewardship as an Entry Point to Critical Theory in the Undergraduate Classroom” discusses the impact of oral history projects like this in undergraduate learning. In the article she talks about the power of engaging with community-generated oral histories for students to grasp principles of multiplicity, counter-narrative, self-reflexivity, and the contingent nature of history.
The Lafayette News piece also touched on DSS’s leadership on oral history programming as a formal partner on the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium (LVEHC). The LVEHC brought Brooke Bryan, director of the Oral History in the Liberal Arts initiative, to campus last spring. Most recently, the LVEHC partnered with the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium to offer the Lehigh Valley Oral History Directory, an unprecedented survey of completed and in-process oral history projects in the region. Read more about the directory on the LVEHC blog.
As an LVEHC partner, DSS is currently supporting multiple oral history projects exploring such topics as the historic Allentown Band, African American migration from Cuthbert, GA to Easton, PA, and the Lehigh Valley apparel industry. Are you interested in oral history opportunities for your research and teaching? Feel free to reach out to DSS via the Preliminary Request Form, and explore open LVEHC Calls for Proposals in Course Development and Building Digital Collections.