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Oral history, as you know, is one of the ways you can add color and flavor to a town’s history. At the Scottsville Museum every summer, student interns work on increasing the number of oral histories collected at the museum. The intern meets with the interviewee and asks many questions about town life, about different events that went on, about any political issues, and anything else that the interviewee might remember. These interviews are recorded in great detail and help put together the rich history of the town of Scottsville.

the floods of Scottsville

Oral history has a lot to do with tradition. In times past, people used to pass down stories and family traditions this way. There was no written record of things; people just memorized and handed down the stories. You may have traditions in your own family that are still handed down in this way. The American Indians handed down stories of wars and information regarding the seasons and the cycles of the moon.

As the oral historian, you get to be the first person to look at some of the old pictures and treasures of your interviewee's life. You also get the joy of watching someone go way back into his or her memory and recall the stories of his childhood and past. Often these stories help bring great perspective into the stories you might already know about the World Wars, the Great Depression, droughts and floods, and so much more. On this website we have audio examples of the real oral histories from the Scottsville Museum. You can listen to some of the great stories from real Scottsville residents about the Civil War, Fourth of July celebrations, and more. Click on the next section to listen to some of those stories, and then do the oral history activity where you get to be the oral historian!