telephone - (816) 235-1543
T. CHÁVEZ, EdD.
MARY COHEN, PhD
ROBINSON, O.S.D., PhD
The History Speaks Project: Visions and Voices of Kansas City’s Past will video-record approximately 150 oral histories covering a range of topics that have had significant impact on the shaping of Kansas City in the period between 1920 – 2000.
Each individual we wish to include in this project has been recommended because of the contribution he or she has made to a significant aspect of Kansas City. Broadly, the topics to be covered by this project include stories of community (e.g. neighborhood, cultural and ethnic groups, religion), stories of place (e.g. architecture, transportation, real estate and development) business and industry, government and politics, women and children, education and, obviously, important historical events.
The “History Speaks” project is the first attempt to build a comprehensive oral history video archive in Kansas City. Similar projects have been undertaken in St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Chicago. While the State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center-Kansas City (SHSMO-KC) owns hundred of hours of audio tapes on various topics, this project will result in over 300 hours of images, voices and written transcripts that will describe Kansas City’s rich history and urban experience from the perspective of the individuals living during this time.
Our goal is to complete 150 interviews by the end of 2002. The interviews will be conducted by a team of trained interviewers under the direction of David Boutros, Project Director and Assistant Director of SHSMO-KC and Nancy Beer Tobin, a trained Oral Historian and Project Coordinator for this effort.
Each interview will take place in two parts. The first session will take approximately one hour in which the Interviewer will walk through a background information questionnaire. The Interviewer will prepare for the interviewer by researching the events and surrounding events relevant to the interview. Approximately a week after the first session, the Interviewer and a Videographer will conduct a two hour interview which may take place at the home of the interviewee are at a mutually agreed upon location.
Once completed, the interviewee will receive a copy of the interview. The original tape and transcript will be archived and another copy will be made available to the public. If requested, the interview may not be released to the public until a time designated by the interviewee.
The project will result in original source material to aid researchers, educators and a multitude of “storytellers.” The interviews can be used for a broad range of purposes such as books (histories, biographies, published transcripts), documentaries and other films or videos, museum exhibits, cultural preservation and heritage projects, theatrical works, www sites and academic research.