Oral History Project: Czech Emigres in America

I had the opportunity to design a research project for my Eastern European History course at Utah State University using a database of oral history interviews collected by the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) in Iowa City. It really is a fabulous collection because the interviews are conducted in English, making them especially well suited for undergraduate-level coursework. (Find more about the project here: http://www.ncsml.org/Content/Oral-Histories.aspx)

My students worked with Rosie Johnston at the NCSML archives, who helped them (as did I) select and research a topic of their choice. The NCSML was kind enough to send us DVD copies of the interviews, which I made available through the USU library course reserves. After meeting with the students individually to discuss their topics, arguments, and goals for the paper, they submitted a final 5-6 page essay that combined their oral history sources with texts and documents from class. I was extremely pleased with the results.

When the projects were completed at the end of the semester, I asked the students who wrote the strongest essays to submit their work to the NCSML, which posted the essays on their blog “Recording Voices and Documenting Memories.” Please follow the link for the three essays.

Source ncsml.org



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