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The History Center blog shares research and findings about local history, excerpts from the History Center Archives, information about upcoming exhibits and other opportunities on how to get involved with The History Center in Tompkins County. To learn more or view the archival materials mentioned, visit us in downtown Ithaca, follow us on social media @TompkinsHistory, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter History Happenings

AHA-NEH SHARP Grant Completes - Funding Supported Massive Improvements in our Oral Histories of Tompkins County Collection

Wed, May 17, 2023 1:06 PM | Anonymous

In April of 2022 The History Center was awarded $29,582 from the Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan grant program to significantly address the backlog in the archival processing of our oral history collections. Through significant work and time on the project from our transcription assistants paid through the grant, federal work study, volunteers, and The History Center staff we are thrilled to share the huge improvement in accessibility for this collection. 

Transcripts were completed for 132 interviews in our collections. Including language translation for Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ (Cayuga) language-keeper Stephen Henhawks 2018 interview, a 2006 interview with Nina Ebbs, a 2016 interview with Bob Nobles, completion of transcription for two large-scale projects recorded in collaboration with Cornell's Public History Initiative, in addition to dozens of others. 

We also completed listing notes and Finding Aids for 12 oral history projects, and 7 thematic collections including: Searching for LGBTQ Community, Warmest Years on Record, Oral History of Holocaust Survivors Who Settled in Tompkins County, Stories of Immigration and many others. These will be available for preview at and as a reference catalogue in the Research Library. Community members interested in these collections and recordings may make an appointment in our archives to listen to any interview in our collection of over 200 narratives of local life, experience, and memory. 

This was a huge undertaking and we are grateful and proud of Lauren Kessler, Julia Calagiavanni, Andrew Harding, Melanie Jalbert, Dan Motta, Blythe Van Ness, and Kethry Larsen for all their work on this project since last July!

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