Civic Club Grant to Help Preserve, Put Online Oral Histories of Sierra Madreans

Press Release posted 5/21/12 – The Sierra Madre Historical Archives is pleased to announce that it has received a $400 grant from the Sierra Madre Civic Club to launch the Save Our Stories Project.  Library Archivist Debbie Henderson, who applied for the grant, explained that the purpose of the project is to preserve and provide public access to selected analog recordings captured as part of the Sierra Madre Oral History Project, which was started by Jayne Kistner in 1988.  Jayne and 15 other interviewers recorded the stories of 110 Sierra Madre residents on audio cassette tapes in interviews conducted from 1989-1991 and in 1994 and 1996.  One such interview is with Althea Butler, the first President of the Civic Club.  Each interview is approximately one hour long.

Duplicate tapes will be sent to the Center for Oral and Public History at Cal State Fullerton for transfer to a digital format.  Once the project in complete, Library staff will enhance the sound quality of the interviews using Audacity, an audio rendering software.  A link to an MP3 file (digital audio file) will be created in the Library catalog so that interviews may be accessed immediately via the Library website or downloaded to a portable digital device. 

The grant will make it possible to preserve many historically valuable archival interviews and to provide the public with easy access to the Library’s original oral history collection.