The Friends of the Cabildo Oral History Committee has recorded thousands of hours of interviews of New Orleans residents since the 1960s. In recent years, this project has slowed but has continued through the help of the Threadhead Cultural Foundation.
Original interviews were recorded on cassette tapes and thus at risk of breaking down due to natural decay. A local donor and the Friends of the Cabildo Board of Directors sent 687 cassettes to Philadelphia-based conservators George Blood Productions to digitize the interviews for long-term preservation.
The interviews in this collection include New Orleanians such as Lindy Boggs, Samuel Wilson, Ella Brennan, George Dureau, and John Churchill Chase. The purpose of this project is to preserve these voices, seek voices less often represented, and make these histories available to researchers.
The digitization process has been completed. The final step of the project, and the focus of this campaign, is an online platform maintained by the Friends of the Cabildo that will allow anyone with internet access to listen to these recordings online for free.
Our online platform will be created by local technology start-up Open Archives. Their platform is designed to have a simple user experience that functions on all devices. The timeline for this project is 60 days once the campaign has been funded.
Risks and challenges
This is an ambitious project that seeks to bring fascinating and seldom-heard parts of New Orleans history to the public. The great news is that we have most of this project completed. The only thing that stands in our way to make these histories available to everyone online is securing funding for the final step of the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter