From The Director
“From participating in interviews, to engaging with the collection, to attending SPOHP’s events, the public is the lifeforce behind SPOHP’s past, present, and future.” -Dr. Paul Ortiz
Welcome to SPOHP’s 2019 summer newsletter! Our mission is to gather, preserve, and promote living histories of individuals from all walks of life.
Oral history puts students in direct dialog with individuals and groups who have changed the world. The Samuel Proctor Oral History Program teaches students, independent scholars, and community organizations how to bring history to life. Oral history is an interdisciplinary methodology that draws on ethnography, literature, social theory, and memory studies—among other academic fields. SPOHP emphasizes rigorous collaborative research, civic engagement, digital technology, and other techniques that make history accessible, democratic and fun. SPOHP engages students, scholars, and local communities throughout the world in gathering, preserving, and promoting living history through academic publications, public programs, electronic media and other forums in order to document the human condition.
SPOHP also teaches the craft and intellectual traditions of oral history through university seminars as well as through community-based workshops. In addition, SPOHP consults on an ongoing basis with local historians, civic leaders, and educators in Florida and beyond who are interested in initiating oral history projects in their towns and municipalities. SPOHP is committed to engaging in the scholarly and educational life of the University of Florida and our state, as well as the broader world through public history programs, academic conferences, and scholarly collaborations.
Of course, none of this is possible without your support! The great majority of SPOHP’s field work initiatives are funded by private donations; no donation is too small! Your support helps ensure that the Proctor Program is able to cover the travel, lodging, and equipment costs of our students as they embark on the field work opportunities you will read about in this newsletter.
Above all, I hope that you will enjoy this update on SPOHP’s work, and I welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have about the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.
Paul Ortiz, Director
Thanks to our donors, this year has been amazing!
Thanks to our supporters, SPOHP has had one of its most productive years yet. We want to take a step back to reflect on some of this year’s greatest hits:
Collaboration with College of Medicine for the Art of Aging Project
As part of the Geriatrics Clerkship rotation for fourth-year MD students, a core goal of the collaboration is to help future clinicians see older adults in their full personhood. Each month, students receive training in the methods of oral history from SPOHP staff and volunteers; interview a narrator who has been recruited through community partners.
Ongoing Work on Veterans Project with Library of Congress
SPOHP contines to collect oral history interviews with veterans and, in cooperation with the Library of Congress, process those interviews with the special forms required for having them included in the LOC’s archives for future generations.
But SPOHP never rests! We have a busy year ahead. Let’s also take a look at some of the many programs and events lined up for this summer:
Our annual Mississippi Freedom Project trip:
Students on the 2018 trip had the opportunity to visit the newly opened Equal Justice Initiative Legacy Museum and Lynching Memorial in Montgomery Alabama. New stops are also planned for the upcoming 2019 trip. As with all MFP trips, students have the opportunity to meet numerous social activists that have done tremendous work to advance racial equity in this nation.
History of the Jewish Community in El Salvador
LDAP staffers have completed the transcription of the History of the Jewish Community in El Salvador project, through a collaboration with Dr. Rebecca Jefferson of the UF Judaica Library. The collection documents the community-building efforts of Jewish immigrants to El Salvador, some arriving in the 1920s and starting coffee plantations, and many more arriving after fleeing the Nazi occupation during WWII.
And we’re planning a busy year ahead!
50 Years of Collaboration
One Community, Many Voices