Oral History

Click here to listen to a samples from the Voices of Lefferts Oral History Collection.

Click to learn more about our food-centered oral history project.

Click to learn more about our COVID-19 oral history collection.

Oral history is a method of collecting and preserving a record of the past through first-person accounts of everyday life. An oral history is a recorded interview that elicits the interviewee’s firsthand knowledge and recollections.

Our collection

We are creating a community archive of interviews with Flatbush-PLG community members. By collecting recordings of our neighbors’ life histories, we aim to document Flatbush-PLG’s rich culture and history through the eyes of the people who live here and to foster dialogue about the neighborhood’s future. Our archive will eventually be available for public listening on this website and will also be accessible through the Brooklyn Collection at the Brooklyn Public Library. We are actively searching for a permanent archival home for our collection. A sampling of our oral history interviews can be listened to here: 

Listen: Oral History Interviews


Oral history training

Interviews in our collection are conducted by volunteer interviewers who are also Flatbush-PLG community members. We hold periodic oral history interviewer trainings to provide volunteers with the skills to interview their neighbors, family members, and friends. No prior experience is necessary. Trainings provide an overview of oral history ethics and methodology, and recording techniques. (Due to COVID-19, we are currently training interviewers remotely and using remote interviewing techniques.) After receiving training, interviewers are invited to contribute interviews to our collection.

Information about upcoming trainings is posted here and shared through our mailing list.

Sign up to be interviewed