Goulburn Mulwaree Library will soon embark on a new initiative to preserve and record the unexplored local history stories in the city.
"The heart of the project aims to involve the community in preserving unexplored history stories. It aims to raise awareness, capture and record the diversity in our community, including indigenous and multicultural stories. We want people to share their ideas and stories," said Fran O'Flynn, Local Studies Officer.
"Our aim is to safeguard these community stories by recording, archiving and making them accessible. We are excited to discover hidden gems," she added.
The Local Studies Officer feels lot of people think local studies is all about the history of a community. "It is an important part. But there are also under represented people who live in our community and don't have a strong voice. They may not feel as important as they are new settlers or immigrant or diverse multi cultural background. They are the ones we are trying to reach out to in order to bring those stories into our collection," she said.
They have contacted the local Aboriginal land council apart from few other organisations and community groups and are hoping to work with them on the project.
"We have to be careful because we could be treading on people's sensibilities. They have their own histories and generational histories. So, that is something we are aware of," Maria Daly, Mobile Library Operator said.
While the stories will be freely available through the library and online through Trove, there may be some restrictions on some material for cultural reason.
"We would like people to tell us their whole story. It's like the current day version of a time capsule. For example, someone may have arrived in Goulburn recently but after 50 years, their story will have a lot of value in answering questions related to the community," said Miss Daly.
The Goulburn Mulwaree Library is one of the applicants who have been successful in receiving a funding for the State Library of NSW's Oral History project.
The Goulburn Mulwaree Library had successfully applied to take part in the State Library of NSW's portable history project and will be equipped with equipment for recording long-term oral history interviews.
Miss O'Flynn and Miss Daly will be receiving specialised training soon.
"The training is an important part because we would like people to tell us their whole story. As part of the training, we will learn how to overcome difficulties in reaching out to people and asking the right questions," Miss Daly said.
The initial part of the project involves making five stories. "We are hoping to make them as diverse as possible," said Miss O'Flynn.
She feels that people need to be happy with the end result before going any further with it.
In the future, they are also looking at recording history of houses with stories and images.
The project is a collaboration between Local Studies and Big Read Bus.
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