Roots with Wings, a Floyd County Place-Based Education Project:: Intergenerational Connections

Floyd Story Center

Since 1998, a community oral history collection partnership of the Old Church Gallery, Ltd., Radford University’s Center for Social and Cultural Research, Honors Program, Scholar-Citizen Initiative, Appalachian Regional and Rural Studies Center, and Floyd County High School. Our archives now hold over 100 interviews.

In our Roots with Wings project, college mentors, high school staff, and community volunteers meet weekly during the school year to teach the discipline of oral history collection to Floyd County High School students.


Students learn ethical, methodologically sound interview techniques, practice and complete several interviews, transcribe the audiotapes, create searchable content logs, archive interviewee resources and period photographs, learn the technology of audio and video recording, research historical backgrounds, acquire proficiency in iMovie and storytelling, and finally extract a theme from an hour long interview to create a seven minute movie production.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011 Oral History Initiation

January saw the start of a new semester at Floyd County High School. Catherine Pauley from the Old Church Gallery spoke to Ms. Schumann's high school class on ethics, courtesy, and the precious nature of the area stories to be collected.

See: You Tube link below. A one minute movie primer on our Blue Ridge Mountain community's oral history program. An analogy is made between polished quartz rock flakes from a local farm and the stories that will be transcribed from student interviews with community elders, archived at a local non-profit, and then polished into a storyboard for a short movie sketch.

We brought 36 brand new Project Manuals for students and volunteers. The 102 page books, extensively updated by Dr. Wagner's Anthropology Practicum class, Radford University, were divided into twelve workshop sections, each reflecting one step of the process of oral history interviewing techniques. Our printing costs found an angel in a 2010 grant from the Larry Woodrow Vest Fund at the Foundation for Roanoke Valley.

WORKSHOP I. Ethics, Respect, Rapport, and Responsibility
WORKSHOP II. Interviewing
WORKSHOP III. Setting Up the Recording Equipment
WORKSHOP IV. Recording the Interview
WORKSHOP V. Labeling and Archiving the Interview Products
WORKSHOP VI. Transcribing the Interview
WORKSHOP VII. Data-Checking the Transcription
WORKSHOP VIII. Making Content Logs of the Interview/Transcription
WORKSHOP IX. Making a Photograph Log
WORKSHOP XI. Making a Movie/Presenting a Story

We'll continue our WWII veteran focus with two February interviews scheduled. Everyone is looking forward to getting our feet wet with new work and story ideas. Last year's classes created three crackerjack movies from the interviews - Sunny Bernadine: WWII USO performer; Charles Robert Smith - D Day Veteran, and Orland Phillips: Wartime Choices. Please stay tuned!

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