Join our effort to connect with isolated community members through telephone interviews! This is a great project you can do from home, using only a smartphone. Children can learn about their history by asking grandparents simple questions about their lives. Staying connected is more important than ever. Help us preserve our community history and connect with those isolated because of COVID-19.
How it works
Call someone. Call your grandma. Or your neighbor. Tell her you want to learn more about her life. Ask if you can record an oral history interview. Check out this guide for more info on using oral histories to stay connected during social distancing!
Record. Call and record with a free service like Google Voice. Or Voice Memos to record the interview from a separate device. Scroll down for instructions on calling and recording using only a laptop!
Listen. Use simple open-ended questions like these to prompt stories. Listen quietly and don't interrupt!
Share. Send the recording to firstname.lastname@example.org to preserve her stories for future generations. Please include both your names and the date.
Why Oral HIstory Matters
Identity. Compassion. Resilience. Community.
Oral history helps develop a sense of community identity. It connects people from different walks of life, and gives future generations a chance to connect with us. By listening, we build our capacity for compassion and we learn to relate to people who might be different from us. Learning our shared history builds resilience. They survived hard times and we can too! Help build a strong community with the Oral History Project.
Record a long distance oral history Using only a Laptop
Landlines often have poor speakerphone quality! We recommend using a cell phone or a laptop to call your interviewee. Read below to find out how to both call and record an interview using only a laptop and a wifi connection.
Open Gmail in your web browser.
Click 'make a call' in the lower left corner of the screen.
Dial any US based landline or cell phone.
Open QuickTime (or Voice Memos).
Navigate to 'file' and click 'new audio recording.'
Click record when you are ready to start the interview. Always ask your interviewee for permission to record! Let them know when you begin recording. Ask their permission if you plan on sharing the recording with Historic Saranac Lake's oral history project. Historic Saranac Lake may require a written release form.
The Oral History Project is always looking for people to interview! The interviews are informal, last about an hour, and help us learn about the history of Saranac Lake. Let us know who you think we should interview by filling out the form below.
Are you interested in volunteering with the Oral History Project? You can conduct or assist with interviews of Saranac Lake residents. Or, dive into our archives and help us make them available to the public. Fill out the form below to start volunteering.