Community Memory Project

The Moore Free Library in Newfane is pleased to announce a “Community Memory” project, which will collect audio recordings of stories, anecdotes, recollections and thoughts of people who live or have lived in Newfane, Williamsville, South Newfane and Brookline. The recordings (along with scanned photos, diaries, and letters)  will be shared on an easy-to-use website. This two-year project is a partnership between the library, the Historical Society of Windham County, Senior Solutions, Brattleboro Area Hospice and the Vermont Folklife Center and is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences. 

Telling and listening to stories has a rich tradition in Vermont, and is a way to connect with others during a time when many feel isolated. Community members can volunteer for this project in a variety of ways. Some people may wish to become interviewers, speaking with and making audio recordings of their friends and family members or with people they’ve never met before. Some people may wish to be interviewed or to record themselves telling their own story without an interviewer. Some people may want to be involved on the technical level, by scanning old photos or letters or diaries or by working to upload audio and photo files to the web site. You do not have to be a longtime resident to participate!

If you are interested in participating, please plan to attend the free workshops that relate to the types of participation you are interested in:  interviewing, editing audio files, scanning archival materials, or uploading files to the project website.   This in-depth, hands-on training will be held on Saturday afternoons in October. People can attend one or all of the workshops and attendance  can be in person (outdoors on the library lawn) or remotely via Zoom. Lunch will be provided for those who attend in person. In the case of strong rain, the workshop will be held the following day at the same time. Pre-registration is requested, please call the library at 802-365-7948 to register and to get more information, including the link to participate remotely. 

Training Topics and Dates

Oct 3: Introduction to Oral History (1-5 PM). An overview of the Vermont Folklife Center’s approach to interviewing and a discussion of the methods and ethics of recording other people’s stories. Attendees will work to conduct practice interviews, gaining first-hand experience with the process and trying out methods for in-person and remote interviewing and recording.

Using the Project Website

Oct 17, 1-3 PM:: Participants will learn how to upload audio files, transcripts, and images to the Community Memory website.

Photography and Scanning

Oct 24, 1-5 PM: How to create digital copies of physical objects, using a scanner (for photographs, journals, letters and other flat things) and a digital camera to capture images of three-dimensional things (like human beings and objects that are important to people).

Audio Editing Basics

Oct 31, 1-3 PM: A hands-on introduction to basic audio editing for anyone looking to create interview-based audio content, from simple cuts and excerpts to the core skills needed to build a longer-format podcast. Participants will learn to trim, cut, assemble and mix a simple audio piece using free, web-based editing software.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant-making, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov