The Lompoc Oral History Project is a collaborative project between the Lompoc Valley Historical Society and Lompoc Museum, two 501(c)3 nonprofits in Lompoc, CA.
This is a project about celebrating Lompoc. The tangible products of oral history—the recorded life history interviews— are at their core no different than recorded stories. We believe in the power of stories to build connections between people and to remind us of the things we share. We believe in this way that stories can strengthen a community. Ultimately, we want to offer as many opportunities for the people of Lompoc to hear and share stories about Lompoc.
We invite you to visit the project’s blog at lompocoralhistory.tumblr.com for project updates, for materials associated with the project, and to hear more Lompoc stories.
From the beginning, the central goals of the project were to restore a collection of oral history interviews from 1979, to offer oral history educational opportunities to Lompoc-area schools, and to produce a series of exhibits about the project.
We’ve already accomplished over half of what we set out to do: We created a lesson plan to bring oral history into Lompoc history and social studies classrooms, and we’re working hard on the last legs of the restoration of the 1979 collection.
We have also started a volunteer oral historian program— an open invitation to the entire Lompoc community to participate in the actual writing of history by collecting and submitting their own oral history interviews to the Museum and Historical Society’s archives. We already have volunteers collecting interviews from a local priest, a grandfather, and a prison guard at the Lompoc Penitentiary. Information on how to get involved, along with the volunteer guide and school lesson plan are available on the Tumblr.
We are asking for help, though, with the last phases of the project. Your funds will go toward the completion of the the 1979 archive (an archive that will also hold all new interviews collected through the volunteer oral historian program) and the materials and work needed to produce the series of exhibits. We have five exhibit locations cemented already—in the libraries of Lompoc and Cabrillo High Schools, in the Lompoc Public Library, in the Lompoc Valley Historical Society, and in the Lompoc Museum. We would love for the exhibits to include the ability for visitors to listen to segments of oral histories. We are also working on securing additional exhibit locations— sites relevant to the 1979 collection that would house a small, permanent sound installation.
The roots of this project reach back to 1979, when a group of volunteers from the Lompoc Valley Historical Society and Lompoc Museum got together, and, over a ten-year period, collected over 95 hours of oral history interviews with at least 43 Lompoc residents. These interviews remained, until this year, on 30-year-old cassette tapes, some copies of the original reel-to-reel recordings. The audio has now been digitized, though some of the sound quality has deteriorated over the years as the tapes aged. We invite you again to visit the Tumblr, where we list all of the individuals that participated in this original oral history project.
And have a look at the project logo/map of Lompoc, referred to in the prize descriptions:
Risks and challenges
The restoration portion of the project has been a goal of the Museum and Historical Society for many years. But it is difficult to overemphasize the time and labor required to restore a collection like this—the volunteer effort that has been chipping away at it for years was not making much progress. We are very excited that it is so close to completion, and hope you will help us finish it up right, so that it is correctly preserved for all future museum curators, researchers, and the public.
If you have any questions about the project not answered above (or at lompocoralhistory.tumblr.com, which is full of information), please do not hesitate to contact the project manager, Patricia Sazani, at email@example.com or 805-588-8760. Thank you so much for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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