The students of St. Lawrence have created the first comprehensive collection of the history of St. Lawrence School and Parish. This collection is filled with stories, legends, and tall tales as well as artifacts, props, and creations. The collection captures memories of the past and the traditions of today along with many hopes and dreams for the future.
Oral history involves interviewing a person or group to get an inside perspective into what it was or is like to live as the member of a particular group within a society. Interviewing a group of people can create a picture of that experience, and an oral history project can be a way of preserving a piece of history.
In Spring 2007, two USF faculty members, Jenifer Schneider, Ph.D. and James King, Ed.D., brought a group of 33 elementary education pre-service teachers to work with students to develop an oral history of St. Lawrence Catholic School and Parish. The St. Lawrence students conducted, produced, and disseminated the oral history project. They used research and writing skills to create multi-media projects such as digital storybooks, podcasts, and movies. The USF pre-service teachers guided the students through the oral history project using various technological media and instructional strategies such as modeled, shared, and guided reading or writing.
Oral history is the systematic collection of living people’s testimony about their own experiences. Oral historians attempt to verify their findings, analyze them, and place them in an accurate historical context. Oral historians are also concerned with storage of their findings for use by later scholars.
Oral history depends upon human memory and the spoken word. The means of collection can vary from taking notes by hand to elaborate electronic aural and video recordings. You may read more about oral history on the following websites: Step-by-Step Guide to Oral History, UNC Oral History Handout.