Using the latest in technology to preserve the faces, voices and stories of our past, is, put simply, a good idea. Oral histories have been captured through written documentation and audio taped recordings for generations. Today, this tradition continues in projects around the world and includes the use of video technology. Some examples include Steven Spielberg’s Schoah Foundation project, collecting the stories of victims of the holocaust; StoryCorps, a traveling recording studio that archives its collection at the American Library of Congress; the Carnegie Corporation Oral History Project housed at Columbia University; and The Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University.
With every passing day we lose the recollections of the people who have lived through some pivotal times in our city’s evolution. The individual family story becomes the story of a neighbourhood, of our industry, our local businesses, long standing traditions and unique civic character. The Oral History of Sault Ste. Marie captures those stories through videotaped conversations and preserves them for everyone, anywhere, anytime, in a public archive.
The Oral History of Sault Ste. Marie is overseen by a volunteer OHSSM Committee in partnership with the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library, the designated OHSSM public archive.
The OHSSM Committee is responsible for the coordination of interviews and the fundraising required to meet production costs. The Committee also serves as caretakers of the Vision and Goals of the OHSSM, a set of objectives laid out to protect the original intent of the project to benefit all citizens of Sault Ste. Marie.
The Sault Ste. Marie Public Library, as the OHSSM public archive, is responsible for the cataloguing, safekeeping and dissemination of the interviews. Certain uses must be discussed with the OHSSM Committee before the Public Library may proceed.