Monday, November 04, 2013

Oral History Project

Several days ago I received the following email from Barbara Garrity-Blake, a prominent North Carolina cultural anthropologist. Together with Susan West, a coastal journalist, Barbara has been working on an Outer Banks Oral History Project. Barbara and Susan are both highly trained and dedicated individuals. Barbara's email explains how you can help.

I'm excited to announce the Coastal Voices Kickstarter project I just launched with my friend and co-author Susan West. Here's the link:

We have already completed Phase I of the project, including training people in the community on interviewing and digital recording techniques for oral history collection.

Phase 2, where folks actually get out there and collect/transcribe oral histories of NC fishermen, boat builders, net makers, etc. and put together an online exhibit, was slated to begin Oct 1 pending funding from the National Park Service. Well, for the 2nd year in a row, funding got sidelined by Congressional budget battles.

Are we going to let that stop us? Heck no! Too many people have stepped up to be part of this project! And there are so many compelling stories to share. So we are turning to YOU to help us raise the funds to work this winter and have an exhibit on NC maritime life online by late spring/early summer 2014.

Here's how Kickstarter works: we have until Nov. 25 to meet our goal of $8,400 in pledges. Pledges can range from $1 up. Go to our site and see the great REWARDS you receive depending on your pledge.

If we don't meet the goal, you are out nothing. If we DO meet our goal, you get your rewards PLUS the reward of knowing you helped Outer Banks and Down East communities tell their story, their way.

Please consider making a pledge! And tell your friends about our project - feel free to send them the link. You support is needed and hugely appreciated. Here's the link again:


Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a brief history of the Soundfront Inn, one of the oldest structures on the island. You can read it here:


  1. Debbie Leonard6:28 AM

    What a great project! I am happy to contribute.

  2. Anonymous7:51 AM

    What a dilemia!! I would hope everyone that has a story to tell these trained community members with microphones and cameras-- I hope they walk over to their desk, find a pencil or a pen , a piece of paper or two and Write their STORY down on a Piece of paper. I say this for two reasons. Something might happen to either the story teller or the trained member of the community with a microphone and digital recorder before the visit to officially document the fantastic story. Also, if one Writes the story down, makes a copy of the HANDWRITTEN account all the better.. Yes yes yes, only 15% of spoken languages have a written alphabet be that as it may-- please if you have a story to tell write is down, start a blog - yes it would be nice to collect these stories but it seems all these trained people are waiting for Phase II some poeple and their stories may be gone before Phase II can happen become Phase II section a--- by taking the bull by the horns and writing your story down on paper.DD

  3. Anonymous4:49 AM

    you should use that money to help feed the children in africa.

  4. Dear Anonymous, read my blog today. Lou Ann
    Philip, congratulations on launching this project. I didn't know you were doing this. Great work! Anonymous, I think there are other funds for the children in Africa. Actually I am attending an event next week with all proceeds going for that project. I will post about it.
    Lou Ann

    1. Lou Ann, After reading this post I realized I may not have been very clear. Collecting these oral histories is Barbara & Susan's project. I just posted Barbara's announcement.

      For our readers, here is the link to Lou Ann's blog: Be sure to listen to the clip of the interview.