Cleveland Stories

Cleveland Stories helps residents capture interviews and oral history

On Saturday, July 7th, Literary Cleveland's Cleveland Stories Program had another successful workshop with a presentation by Mark Souther. Souther is the director of the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities and a professor at Cleveland State University.

​Souther began his presentation at the Mt. Pleasant branch of Cleveland Public Library with a question: Why oral history? Oral history adds to the historical record, fills the gaps in our understanding, and gives voice to our neighbors. Souther has been involved in multiple oral history projects and is the author of several books, including Believing in Cleveland: Managing Decline in 'The Best Location in the Nation.'

The presentation broke down the steps of planning and preparing for an oral history interview, from choosing someone to interview to planning the interview and the protocol for the interview itself.

The group discussed the positives and negatives of interviewing close acquaintances and family, techniques to keep the interview professional but not boring, and how to navigate recording the interview with digital records or phones.

Cleveland Stories is presented in collaboration with Seeds of Literacy and Neighborhood Connections.

CSU Professor Mark Souther trains residents in Oral History

Professor Mark Souther conducts a practice interview