Working under the direction of the talented Heather George, I assisted with the production of the oral history project Memories of Niagara. The idea came from the Niagara Historical Society’s curator, Sarah Maloney. Sarah wanted to record interviews with local residents and make them accessible to the public. Volunteers conducted interviews and transcribed audio. When I joined the project, I also did transcriptions and video/audio editing to make short clips of interview highlights.
Here’s one I created using material from the museum’s collection.
It was a strange experience in a way, listening to and reading the stories of stranger’s lives. Even more so because I was not very familiar with Niagara-on-the-Lake. But this did not stop me from gaining an admiration for this small historic village. Each interview I worked on introduced me to a different character in a larger cast. As a result, my interest grew, as did my understanding of the area’s history.
When I signed up to volunteer, I assumed I would be working with artifacts, conducting research and writing. As it turned out, this was not the case, at least not yet. In fact, I found it rewarding to experience (and participate in) the community focused work being done by the staff at the Niagara Historical Society.