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Special session at meeting to discuss OHA strategic plan

As many of you know, in conjunction with the new executive structure, the OHA has been undergoing a strategic planning process to help chart where the organization will be going over the next four years. Toward that end, we have have been working with Janet Rechtman, a strategic planning consultant. Janet is no stranger to oral history; for years she has sat on the board of the Foxfire Fund, associated with the famous oral history-based teaching practice. Since March, she has worked closely with OHA Council to develop a document articulating our mission, vision, values and objectives, as well as a longer document outlining an action plan.

Janet will be in attendance at the OHA meeting in Oklahoma City. Saturday morning, October 12, from 8:30-9:45, she will be available in Grand Ballroom C to discuss the plan as it has evolved, and to receive feedback from OHA members and others. We welcome your input!

OHMAR happy hour in Oklahoma City

Want to meet new people and network with oral historians from your region? Join Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR) for a fun and social happy hour on Friday, October 11, in Oklahoma City. Meet up at the Skirvin Hilton lobby at 5:30pm. Email OHMAR board members Kate Scott (moc.l1635442945iamg@1635442945etak.1635442945ttocs1635442945) or Abby Perkiss (moc.l1635442945iamg@1635442945ssikr1635442945epa1635442945) for details.

See you in Oklahoma City!

Blog: Education Committee and the OHA Annual Meeting

Fall.  Besides autumn leaves and season change it is considered a time for new found ideas and shared experiences.  And of course, a new school year across ages and institutions.  Education. I’ve been thinking a lot about its meaning and what Oral History in Education means to the Oral History Association and its members. If I asked five members if they could share their understanding of Oral History in Education, I would get a different answer from each.  As Chair of the Education Committee for OHA, I grapple with this question and I wonder if the Education Committee is meeting the members’ needs. The Committee is made up of a diverse group of people working in varied institutions with K-12 students, adult students, and community members with oral history at the core of their teaching and learning.  Our views and expertise are mixed and expansive but we have found commonalities through our conversations.

A discussion we keep circling around is how oral history as a tool is used in the public education realm. We would like to invite you to be part of the dialogue.  If you are attending the annual meeting in Oklahoma City this year, join us on Friday, October 11 at 8:30 am in the Continental Room for a Roundtable discussion on The Transformational Power of Oral History to Invigorate Public Education.

If you can’t make the session but would like to become involved with the Education Committee, please feel free to join us for our meeting on Thursday, October 10 at 12:15 in Centennial 2.  (Check the program guide for any room changes.)

Debbie Ardemendo
Education Manager- School Programs
Apollo Theater
253 West 125th Street
New York, New York 10027
Direct: 212.531.5343
Fax: 212.749.2743

British Library-BBC ‘Listening Project’ conversations go online

The British Library has unveiled the first 355 “Listening Project” conversations, available at

From their website – “The Listening Project is an audio archive of conversations recorded by the BBC. People are invited to share an intimate conversation with a close friend or relative, to be recorded and broadcast (in edited form) by the BBC and curated and archived in full by the British Library. These one-to-one conversations, lasting up to an hour and taking a topic of the speakers’ choice, collectively form a picture of our lives and relationships today.”

Public Presentation at Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum Still On

The public presentation by Ed Linenthal on Friday, October 11 at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is still on, despite the government shutdown. According to the Memorial’s website, “The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is open for business despite the government shutdown. The Memorial and Museum was built and is owned and operated by a private non-profit 501(c)3 foundation. This national treasure depends solely on admissions, Museum Store sales, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, other private fund-raising efforts and earnings from an endowment to cover annual operational cost. The Foundation receives no annual operating monies from the city, state or federal governments.”

Annual Meeting interest groups

A key benefit of attending the annual meeting of the OHA is the opportunity to interact with oral historians working in similar settings or with related concerns . At the suggestion of many of those who responded to the OHA’s 2013 survey about the annual meeting, we have built interest group meetings into the structure of the 2013 meeting.  On Thursday afternoon, October 10, eight separate groups will meet to discuss common interests, problems, and solutions.  Conference goers will split up into various interest groups to discuss common concerns and plan for the future.

Groups will include:
• Community oral history
• Independent scholars
• K-12 education
• Military history
• Oral history and archives
• Oral history and digital humanities
• Oral history and social change
• Oral history in government

Interest groups will play a vital role as the OHA moves into the future with a new executive structure and a new multi-year strategic plan.  Among other activities, interest groups could develop panels for the annual meeting (and at meetings of other organizations);  publicize the various OHA awards. grants and scholarships; contribute submissions to the Oral History Review, newsletter, and the news and calendar sections of the website; suggest candidates to the Nominating Committee; provide a pipeline for leadership into OHA; and recruit new members.  Most important, they’d offer a place where people who share common concerns could be in dialogue with each other, throughout the year as well as the annual meeting.  The OHA can provide space on the OHA website for interest groups, both to foster internal communication and to showcase exemplary oral history work.

For information on the specific meeting places, consult the OHA 2013 program guide ( ).     If you wish to join an interest group but cannot attend the meeting, or if you wish to help develop another interest group, contact the OHA office at ude.u1635442945sg@ah1635442945o1635442945.

We look forward to what comes out of the interest group meetings in Oklahoma City!