The Oregon Extension Oral History Project began as the basis for my Master's thesis in history at Simmons College (see the statement of purpose page). For the thesis, I am concentrating on the first five years of the program, 1975-1980. I am hopeful that the project will extend beyond the thesis and become a larger project charting the history of the Oregon Extension from 1975 to the present (or at least through 2000). If you are a former student of the Oregon Extension or have participated in the community in any way as a faculty or staff member, community member, or otherwise, I would love to hear from you.
Right now, I have two primary ways for folks to participate in the project.
1) Filling out the pre-interview questionnaire. This is a questionnaire originally designed to be completed in preparation for a recorded oral history interview, but I also welcome stand-alone responses if you don't have time to record an interview, are not interested in recording an interview, or are more comfortable with written rather than oral communication.
2) Narrating an oral history interview. This project was originally designed to gather oral historical narratives from faculty and students involved in the Oregon Extension's early years. Oral history interviews with alumni generally take between one and two hours and, unless you live in the Boston, Massachusetts area, are recorded by telephone using a digital voice recorder.
In addition to these two modes of participation, I also welcome letters and emails sharing your memories of the Oregon Extension in less formal ways. I have also made use of documentary evidence in my thesis, such as student assignments and photographs. Although I don't have any easy way to accept these types of primary source materials long-distance, I would love to see examples of student projects.
Interviews and questionnaires, if formally released by the participants, will be used as primary source material for my Master's thesis, related presentations and (hopefully!) later published works as well as made available to other scholars and the general public through the Internet Archive and at a yet-to-be-determined brick and mortar archival repository.
To fill out a questionnaire, schedule an oral history interview, or to contact me with any questions about the project, email me at annajcook [at] gmail [dot] com or leave a message on my voice mail at 616-510-4325. Email is my preferred method of communication.