Rochester Public Library celebrates oral histories - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Rochester Public Library celebrates oral histories

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RPL's Oral History Fair allowed the public to meet those who recorded their oral histories. RPL's Oral History Fair allowed the public to meet those who recorded their oral histories.
Ray Lundquist is one of the community members who recorded an oral history. Ray Lundquist is one of the community members who recorded an oral history.
This sound booth was used to record the oral histories. This sound booth was used to record the oral histories.
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -

It's a new way to learn about the history of the Rochester area -- from the residents' perspectives.

Rochester Public Library and the Olmsted History Center collaborated to create the Our Community, Our Stories project. Thanks to a grant, the library bought a sound booth and other equipment. Twelve members of the community were then selected to record their oral histories.

On Sunday afternoon, the library hosted an Oral History Fair to allow the public to meet the people behind those stories -- people like Ray Lundquist, who moved to Rochester in 1967 and got to reconnect with his Native American roots.

"I found out they had a Native American Center. And I thought, 'Well, there's an opportunity to learn about my heritage' because I'm fourth-generation," said Lundquist. "They taught me how to sing and how to dance and drum in the Indian community."

Among the other community members interviewed for the project are the sisters of Assisi Heights, who discussed their experiences helping victims of the massive Rochester flood.

"I think for us to understand who we are as a community, the more voices that we have contributing to that understanding, the better," said Kim Edson, head of Reader's Services at Rochester Public Library.

If you want to listen to the 12 oral histories, visit http://bit.ly/OurOlmsted. If you are interested in recording your own oral history, contact the Rochester Public Library.

According to RPL, the project was made possible with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the people of Minnesota for Library Legacy activities.

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