Oral History Program
As with many small towns in America, Kent has a rich, largely untapped historical resource in its very own residents. Much of this informal historical wealth exists only in the memories of our old-timers, and some not-so-old timers. Our Oral History Committee has been hard at work in recent years trying to document these memories before it’s too late. Too late not only because we lose more of our wonderful old timers each year, but also because our younger folk tend to exist primarily in the internet when it comes to communication these days.
Board of Trustee member Charlotte Lindsey spearheaded the formation of an Oral History Committee and is an active participant.
“In a few short years there will be no old diaries or journals or posted letters turning up to take us into years gone by. The recorded spoken word may become the only way we can stay in touch with the past,” she said.
The Kent Historical Society, in its mission to preserve the past for future generations, has initiated an Oral History project. We have trained a number of residents to collect life stories from others who tell about living in Kent, many of them over age 75.
Interviewers are spending time lining up their candidates and enjoying the interview process. However KHS is finding that transcribing the interviews, from DVR’s to hard copies, is a task requiring computer skills and we are looking for volunteers who will do transcriptions. We are also hoping to gather donations to underwrite the financial costs of the project.
A wonderful treasure trove of information has been gathered from a variety of Kent residents, but more names are being added to the list of worthy interviewees. It seems that the more we learn, the more we find that we need to know! It’s an important effort, and a fun one. If you can help us out in any way, please let us know. 860-927-4587 or email us.