Student community-based projects are a natural tool for achieving diverse public history outcomes, yet these types of projects are challenging to organize and manage. Focusing on two undergraduate community-centered oral history projects, this article serves as a guide for those interested in developing manageable service-learning projects that facilitate meaningful community partnerships. It explores lessons learned during the projects’ organization and execution including how to keep them manageable in terms of scope, scale, and structure and how to maximize available resources (both human and material). It also advances methods for developing student skills in new media technologies and platforms.
Reports from the Field: Organizing and Executing Meaningful and Manageable Community-Based Oral History Projects
Erin L. Conlin, assistant professor of history at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (PhD, University of Florida, 2014), specializes in public, oral, and twentieth-century US history. Her research examines race, labor, and migration in modern America through the evolution of Florida’s modern farm labor system, from the 1910s through the 1960s, through a study of the working lives of migrant and imported Bahamian farm laborers. She has also facilitated a collection of oral history interviews with former African American farmworkers in central Florida and is currently developing an oral history project of IUP examining its institutional history and relationship with the broader community of Indiana.
Erin L. Conlin; Reports from the Field: Organizing and Executing Meaningful and Manageable Community-Based Oral History Projects. The Public Historian 1 August 2016; 38 (3): 50–77. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2016.38.3.50
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