Reviving Native American audio cassette tapes

“More than 40 years ago, Gary Wade, a citizen of South Carolina’s indigenous Catawba Nation, sat down for an interview as part of a project to gather oral histories for UF.  The 15-minute interview touched on Wade’s religious life, his service in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and his childhood, which was marked by racism as early as elementary school. Despite this, he said he maintained pride in his Native American identity.

The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program — a research center at UF dedicated to collecting audio interviews to preserve historical events and information  — will work with UF libraries and the foundation to digitize existing oral history and house it on an online platform, Mukurtu, named after the indigenous Australian Warumungu word for “a safe place to keep sacred materials.” Although still in testing stages, the platform hopes to collect and share materials from each of the universities involved in the project.” Read full story here.

Samuel Proctor Oral History Project (USA)

Paul Ortiz is one of those rare individuals who has managed to merge his vocation and his avocation. As director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at University of Florida since 2008, he and his team of about 50 students gather interviews with individuals ranging from migrant farmworkers to war veterans.  “Our charge is really to try to document living history as much as possible,” Ortiz said. “We’re constantly interviewing people from different walks of life.” For full story click here.