Reference Librarian Jennifer Sanders-Tutt said this is the first time the library has started a project like this.
“I had seen and heard a lot of other communities and libraries especially, collecting oral histories in an effort to preserve and archive oral history for future generations, a different way of preserving history,” Sanders-Tutt said. “I thought that was something that would be perfect for St. Joe, something that St. Joseph really needed, so I kind of got the ball rolling on it.”
Sanders-Tutt said they’re looking for people who have lived the most St. Joseph history.
“By that I mean, they were born here, they grew up here, they’ve lived their entire lives here, they’ve worked here,” Sanders-Tutt said. “Eventually I’d like to expand it out to certain special topics, but right now, just mainly focusing on how people’s life stories kind of intermingle with St. Joseph’s history.”
The stories will be put into the library’s archive and will serve as a resource for local historians. The audio will also be put online for the public to access.
Sanders-Tutt said this is a project that they hope to continue for a long time to come.
“I think every story gives a new perspective to history that we haven’t seen, every story gives context where you might just have facts,” Sanders-Tutt said. “So everyone has something valuable to share and to contribute to St. Joseph’s history.”