Oral history festival to be held in Mathews

- Posted on Oct 08, 2014 - 12:50 PM

The Festival of Oral History and Folklore will be held Oct. 22-25, with several events scheduled at Mathews Memorial Library, Main Street, Mathews.

The festival is part of the Mathews County Historical Society’s “Year of Finding History in Mathews County” and will be co-sponsored by the Mathews and Middlesex historical societies and the Samuel Proctor Program in Oral History at the University of Florida.

The university will send a delegation of 12 staff members and graduate students to participate in a panel discussion on oral history, conduct oral history interviews with local individuals, and train local volunteers to conduct interviews themselves.

The panel discussion will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the library. It is free and open to the public. Topics will include oral history and folklore as they relate to communities such as Mathews and Middlesex.

During the week, scheduled interviews will take place in both Mathews and Middlesex at various locations, including the homes of those being interviewed. Slots are still available for local residents to participate.

In addition, unscheduled “walk-in” oral history interviews by the professional interviewers will be conducted beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 24, at Mathews Library.

The festival will conclude with an oral history workshop and training program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, at the library. It is free and open to the public and will be conducted by Proctor Program professionals.

Topics will include oral history’s role as evidence, organizing an oral history project, best practices for community field work, resources for research, conducting an interview, recording and filming an interview, editing video and audio files, processing an oral history interview, and sharing the work with the community.