Small Scale, Big Impact: NYC Taxi Driver Oral History

The January/February issue of the Society of American Archivists’ Archival Outlook featured an interesting piece on the New York City Taxi Driver Oral History Project.  This oral history project was started in 2010 by Samantha Gibson and Margaret Fraser and aimed to record, document, and archive oral history interviews of NYC cab drivers.

Fraser notes that the opinions, experiences, and outlooks of taxi cab drivers are often missing from traditional historical records.  Currently seven full length oral histories and a collection of participant art are available online.   These collections are complemented by an online exhibit. The interviews look at issues such as discrimination, pay, health, crime, etc.  This project is interesting as its oral histories document an often neglect part of NYC history and efforts have been made to make these oral histories fully accessible.

What are some of your favourite oral history initiatives focusing on neglected areas of history? 

Photo credit: M N O’Donnell

Remembering the Triangle Factory Fire

The July/August issue of Archival Outlook published by the Society of American Archivists contains an interesting article on the history of the Triangle Factory Fire and the redevelopment of a commemorative website about the fire.

The re-launched site in January 2011 by the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives at Cornell University’s ILR School. This relaunch was timely as 201l marks the centennial anniversary of the fire. Despite including a detailed description of the development and content of the website the Archival Outlook article didn’t actually include a link to the site.  Thankfully Google came to my rescue, and the site can be found here.

Some of the unique parts of the site include:

 The site includes a mix of primary and secondary sources and is a great place to start for students and others looking to learn more about the Triangle Factory Fire of 1911.