Oral History Collections
Cultural Conservation Program
Cultural Documentation research supports and augments architectural survey and registration materials for sites of local, state or federal significance. Oral History Collections are available for public research at the Maryland Historical Trust Library. Please contact Mary Louise de Sarran at (410) 697-9546 to arrange a visit.
Sample List of Oral History Based Projects Sponsored by the Maryland Historical Trust
These oral history based projects and publications with recordings, transcripts and accompanying visual materials are available upon request to researchers at MHT Library:
- Patapsco: Life Along Maryland’s Historic River Valley, In anticipation of a never realized river greenway running from Sykesville to Baltimore, an oral historian and documentary photographer were paired to mine the local stories. Sixty individuals from five Baltimore and Howard county town were recorded. Meet the butcher, the preacher, the teacher, the policeman and more from Oella, Ellicott City, Relay, Elkridge and the lost village of Daniels. Hear and see these places as you never have before.
- Maryland Aloft: A Celebration of Aviators, Airfields and Aerospace, A comprehensive study of structures, people who built, inspired and used them and the stories that make each a part of Maryland’s aviation history based on original research, historical images and recorded interviews with 25 aerospace pioneers.
- A Journey Through Berkley: A Tapestry of Black and White Lives Woven Together Over 200 Years at a rural Crossroads, , A once dominant crossroads in Darlington, Harford County is the backdrop for this oral history based study of a National Register listed community with the now restored Hosannah School as its centerpiece. Twenty-three current and former residents aged 65-96 were interviewed.
- Minding Our Own Business: An Oral History of North Brentwood’s Entrepreneurs, Prince Georges County’s oldest incorporated African American community was a lively self-contained community until the late 1950s when desegregation refocused local goods and service suppliers.
- Maryland Lighthouses of the Chesapeake Bay, Interviews with two dozen kin and keepers of Bay lighthouses are archived at the MHT and appear as vignettes to support this comprehensive volume by America’s authority on navigational aids. David Harp’s documentary portraits accompany each interview.
- Land & Water People & Time: Smith Island. The Smith Island Center and this film are the result of a project begun in 1989 at the request of island residents and then governor. 15mm film outtakes and oral history interviews result. An accompanying audio study of Smith Island Dialect, Natalie Schilling Estes, Georgetown University, 2002 examines vocabulary and speech patterns unique to the island.