We are pleased to announce two newly-launched oral history online archives: the Hudson Area Library Oral History Project (HAL OHP), an open collection of interviews collected locally over the past decade, and the Black Legacy Association of Columbia County Oral History Project (BLACC) collection from the 1980s. The development of the online archives was made possible with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in partnership with Oral History Summer School (OHSS).
The oral histories in the HAL OHP collection include audio recordings created by participants during a 2013 workshop at the library led by OHSS Founder and Director, Suzanne Snider, as well as recordings created by contract and volunteer community members on the library’s behalf. Explore the collection and learn more: oralhistory.hudsonarealibrary.org
The BLACC collection was donated to the library by Columbia Opportunities, Incorporated (COI) in 2018. All of the material in the BLACC collection was originally assembled by the Columbia County Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, sponsored by COI. We have digitized the video and audio recordings and archived the documents, photographs and ephemera in the BLACC collection. Explore the collection and learn more: blacc.hudsonarealibrary.org
Oral histories are important local history resources and we are excited to share the personal, social, historic, funny, heartfelt stories from the local residents who participated in these projects. The individual stories shared in the library’s oral history collections include memories from the early 1900s of driving horse-driven carriages and walking across the ice of the Hudson River, making ice cream in an ice cream maker with ice and salt, the vegetable man taking the ferry from Athens and sleeping as his horse drives the carriage up Warren Street, life in Shantytown, home remedies, the hard work of the brickyards and local factories and cement plants and so much more. They give us a glimpse into a diversity of lived experiences in Hudson and our county from the early 1900s to the present.
These two newly-launched collections will be digitally networked with the oral history archives of OHSS, The Community Library of Voice and Sound (CLOVS). OHSS was established in Hudson in 2012 as an immersive training program to help students from varied fields make use of oral history as an ethical interview practice in their lives and work. The CLOVS archive is comprised of oral histories conducted by OHSS students in conversation with residents from Hudson and the surrounding communities, with an emphasis on “everyday life” experiences, past and present. To learn more and explore the CLOVS collection, visit libraryofvoiceandsound.org.
All three online archives were made possible in part with the generous support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services Accelerating Promising Practices for Small Libraries Grant. The development of the HAL OHP collection was supported by the Friends of the Hudson Area Library, individual donors, the Fund for Columbia County of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts administered through the Community Arts Grants Program by the Greene County Council on the Arts (currently dba CREATE Council for the Arts).