An oral history is a recorded interview between an interviewer and an interviewee (called a “narrator”) that elicits the narrator’s firsthand knowledge, memories, and recollections of events and experiences within the context of their personal life history.

We hold oral history training workshops twice a year in the fall and the spring to enable volunteer interviewers to conduct and record oral history interviews with Flatbush-PLG community members.

VoL lends recording equipment to volunteers interviewers to conduct interviews, which are added to our collection. The collection will be archived at the Brooklyn Collection of the Brooklyn Public Library and will eventually be available for public listening on this website.

We are—all of us—living through unprecedented times. In order to document history from where we stand, we have launched “A Community History of the  COVID-19 Crisis” as a platform from which to tell your story in your own voice.

We are currently looking to connect with anyone in our community who would like to share their experience of COVID-19—whether you are housebound, ill, unemployed, self-quarantined, or in any other way affected by the pandemic. As an interviewee, you will participate in an oral history interview lasting 20-60 minutes,  conducted by phone or computer. There will be no scripted questions. You may choose to focus on one aspect of the pandemic’s effects, share your overall experience, and/or  discuss the pandemic in the context of your life history, however you see fit.

Your interviewer will be a Flatbush-PLG resident, who can also serve as a “check-in buddy” beyond the interview if you are in need of ongoing contact with a neighbor. Interviews will be recorded, and you will receive a copy of your interview. Your interview will become part of the Voices of Lefferts oral history archive, which will live on our website and in the Brooklyn Collection of the Brooklyn Public Library.

Sign up for an interview