Detroit Historical Society is collecting stories from metro Detroiters for massive oral history archives

May 14, 2021 at 10:20 am
Detroit Historical Society's 1967 exhibit. - Courtesy Dan Lijana
Courtesy Dan Lijana
Detroit Historical Society's 1967 exhibit.

If anything has been gleaned from the Detroit Historical Society's massive and award-winning project, Detroit 67: Perspectives, which compiled more than 500 firsthand accounts from metro Detroiters about the summer of 1967 (the largest archive ever compiled on the subject, by the way, for which they are still accepting submissions), it is that everyone experiences events, both big and small, a bit differently.

In an effort to expand upon its oral history archives, the Detroit Historical Society is seeking stories for two ongoing projects, both of which focus on the personal experiences and perspectives of Detroit area residents.

Neighborhoods: Where Detroit Lives invites current and former Detroit residents, including business owners and employees, to reflect on their experiences in different areas of the city, noting the changing economic and cultural landscape of Detroit and how that has impacted, impaired, or inspired them. Per a press release, “these personal stories will ensure that the character of Detroit's many enclaves is preserved.”

The Detroit Historical Society is also launching Detroit Responds: Stories from the time of COVID-19. For this project, the Detroit Historical Society is seeking stories about confronting social, economic, educational, or health challenges and loss, as more than 19,633 Michigan residents have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The Detroit Historical Society ensures that no story, account, or experience is “too small to contribute.” All submissions, however, will become part of the organization's permanent and public collection, which can be viewed online.

To submit audio recordings and/or written stories visit OralHistory.DetroitHistorical.org. Interested participants may also call 313-833-7912 or email [email protected] to schedule a one-on-one interview with an oral historian.

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