Yosemite National Park Announces Launch of Oral History Project
Participants sought for recorded sessions to document Yosemite area history currently titled "I Remember Yosemite…"
Yosemite National Park has launched a multi-year oral history project to capture the stories of people who have helped shape, and whose lives have been shaped by, one of the nation's most iconic national parks. The goal of the project is to enhance and enrich the historical understanding of Yosemite National Park with information that could not otherwise be found in the documentary record and to create a high-quality audio-visual oral history collection for use by researchers and future interpretive functions such as museum exhibits, programs, and podcasts.
While initial interviews for the project will focus on former and current National Park Service (NPS) employees, the scope of the project will also include concession employees, spouses and children of employees, long-time park residents, and members of neighboring communities--in other words, those individuals who have had a significant, and often long-term, connection to the park. The project will explore such themes as work, technological change, evolution of park management, environmental change, and the development of community life in the park.
Yosemite staff is utilizing professional-quality High Definition digital video and audio equipment acquired specifically for the project. The oral history crew is mobile; interviews can be conducted not only in the El Portal Archives facility, but in a subject's home or other agreed upon location. Ultimately, all recorded sessions will be transcribed, and all materials will be preserved as part of the park's permanent archive collection. As such, these materials will be available for use in Yosemite interpretive programming and for research by scholars, genealogists, and others interested in park history.
Did You Know?
Starting in 1907, the Yosemite Valley Railroad brought passengers bound for Yosemite Valley up the Merced River canyon to El Portal. From there, they would take stagecoaches to the Valley. Some of the old train cars are now on display in El Portal.