Date of Press Release: Sept. 20, 2010
Alaskans celebrate their newly minted statehood during Juneau's 4th of July parade, 1959.
Join oral history curator William Schneider as he shares some of the stories he has recorded over the past 29 years. He will demonstrate how the personal perspectives of the story tellers broadens and deepens our understanding of Alaskan history and the role of personal experience and memory. Schneider will retell the recorded and archived stories of people who experienced significant chapters in the story of Alaska including statehood, the Mental Health Trust, aviation, railroads and advances in medicine.
Schneider is Curator of Oral History at the Alaska and Polar Regions Department, Elmer Rasmuson Library, UAF. An anthropologist by training, Schneider has been working with oral narratives throughout his professional career and has assisted in the publication of several life histories. His book, ...So they Understand is a study in oral narrative, oral history, and the issues raised by recording and preserving recordings. He is a co-editor with Phyllis Morrow of the book, When our Words Return, consisting of a series of articles by various authors on oral history. Living with Stories is his most recent book.
Schneider’s presentation comes at a time when UAS is also sharing and recording personal stories through a campus-wide "One Campus, One Book" and Listening Project. The book is Listening is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the (NPR) Storycorps Project. "I think that after reading the stories in the book, people draw up their own experience and memory and realize that the lives of everyday people are unique and important. By sharing our story, we build a stronger sense of community and connection to the people and place surrounding us," said project developer and UAS Public Services librarian Wendy Girven. "In the Spring pilot project earlier this year, 40 members of the UAS community shared stories or helped facilitate the recording process of the Listening Project. We are sharing those stories with the campus now, in the classroom and on the web, and the result is an enthusiasm for the project and increased involvement."