Michigan Humanities Council Awards Midland County Historical Society $14,475 Grant
The history of Midland County is important, for its residents, historians and future generations. Although we often think of history as only what remains from the past, whether that be stories, journals, photos, documents or artifacts, history is actually living in each moment of every day. The Midland County Historical Society preserves the county’s history by maintaining a collection of historical objects and documents, but they are also working to ensure the stories of our current experience are documented and preserved for future generations and historians.
“After a challenging, and trying year, for Midland County and its residents, we know that the stories, testimonials and experiences of 2020 will be looked back upon for many generations to come,” said Jacob Huss, Historical Programs Manager at the Midland County Historical Society. “In our current collection, we often look back to journals and photos to understand what was happening in Midland County 100 years ago, and 100 years from now, we intend to have Oral Histories that were recorded with video and audio.”
The Midland County Historical Society has sought out to capture over 100 hours of oral history interviews from community members in Midland County, sharing their stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating 500-year flood. The Historical Society is utilizing the digital platform, Zoom, to record and facilitate these discussions, with each conversation hosted by a local historian or volunteer.
While these oral histories will live in the archives, they will also be available online for the community to review the audio recordings and summaries through the Historical Society’s research library. A podcast produced by Tridge Media Productions and physical exhibition are also being developed and will be unveiled later this spring.
“As we continue to evolve our processes in this digital moment in time, we want to ensure that the work we are doing is relevant and easily accessible for the community,” stated Huss. “From the ability to review these interviews online to the visual documentation for future generations and historians, we want to ensure that we encompass the history of 2020 for future understanding.”
The Historical Society has sought after community members to share their stories as part of the Oral History Project, and partnering with Anti-Racist Midland to focus on adding life stories from minority and immigrant residents. For more information on the Oral History Project, contact Jacob Huss at [email protected].
The Oral History Project is made possible in part by a grant from Michigan Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.