In Fall 2005 Glucksman Ireland House at New York University implemented a new undergraduate course for its Irish Studies program to create oral histories for NYU's Archives of Irish America. Using a small seminar format that meets once a week for two hours, the course offers students hands-on experience in the skills and techniques involved in conducting oral history interviews, as well as practice in writing an archival finding aid and in editorial decision-making for public history projects.
While the long term goal of the Ireland House Oral History Project is to record the experiences of a wide range of people Irish-American ancestry in order to capture a cross section of memories, the immediate purpose in its initial semesters was to interview those who have made, or are making, key contributions in the areas of culture, education, religion, media, business, government, and the professions. As part of an individual's life history, these interviews focus on how (or indeed if) one's experience has been influenced by, or influenced, a sense of ethnic identity. The project aims to enhance our knowledge and understanding of a phenomenon that becomes increasingly elusive beyond the first generation immigrant, but which remains hugely important for the understanding of America.
Please click here to download the syllabus of the course as a PDF.
For more information about enrolling in the course, please contact Glucksman Ireland House NYU or access Albert via your NYUHome account.
To hear excerpts from the Ireland House Oral History Collection, click here.