Launch of New Online Oral History Project: ‘Scottish Voices From the West’
VANCOUVER – On April 4, Simon Fraser University's Centre for Scottish Studies launched the first part of their online oral history project, “Scottish Voices From the West.”
This coincided with their Tartan Day celebration, including piping and fabulous entertainment by the Gaelic Choir and the Vancouver Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
It featured a short presentation by Dr. Alison Sheridan on the renovated National Museum of Scotland.
In 2004 and 2005 community members Ron and Eileen Sutherland and then co-ordinator of the Centre, Harry McGrath, collected interviews with people of Scottish descent in Vancouver.
The interviews were done on cassettes, and they sat for a number of years without being used. Then, in 2010 a new phase of the oral history project was started with interviews that were “born digital.”
The Centre for Scottish Studies was awarded a Scholarly Digitization Grant from SFU Library to digitize the older interviews and to construct a database that will enable scholars and members of the general public to search the interviews by keywords.
The “Scottish Voices From the West” is an example of “public history,” involving community members interviewing other community members, as opposed to the kind of history that is written from the top down.
The website will include a timeline outlining the activities of Scots who came to British Columbia. There will also be a page to allow members of the public to upload their own stories and pictures regarding their Scottish connections and to map out the route of their family in coming to the province.
The website will be housed on SFU Library's “Multicultural Canada” site at: www.multiculturalcanada.ca.