UWS internship aims to collect veterans’ oral historiesThe Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is collaborating with the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Social Inquiry Department to collect veterans’ oral histories.
The Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is collaborating with the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Social Inquiry Department to collect veterans’ oral histories.
Students are interning for credit to build the center’s collection of interviews as oral history interns.
“It is an established ongoing oral history internship opportunity for our students,” said Joel Sipress, history professor.
Erin Curtis of Cloquet is one of the first two interns.
“It is a cool way of turning written history to oral, which is another new way of looking at it,” she said. Her fellow intern is Connor Ribideau of Downsville.
“It’s a great process of getting information and creating a source of history,” he said. Both interns are history majors.
The interns are required to complete readings on oral history techniques and uses and listen to several interviews from the center’s existing collection. They also are required to observe interviews with experienced interviewers before embarking on three veteran interviews of their own.
“We hope our interns view this as a unique part of their history education,” said Bob Fuhrman, center director and supervisor for the internships. “We have over 300 interviews in the collection and with the expansion of our mission two years ago to include the post-WWII era, we know that there are literally dozens and dozens of potential interview subjects whose stories we need to capture.”
The Bong Center and Social Inquiry Department both hope this semester is the first of many in which interns work to help grow the collection and hone students’ historical skills.