Two of our History majors, Piper Brown-Kingsley and Claire Hitter, have been George L. Mosse Program Undergraduate Interns for the past several months, working at Wisconsin Historical Society and listening to oral history interviews from Wisconsin’s Jewish Community. They’ve both released blog posts with interesting insights from their research and experience. Read more about their work.
Piper Brown-Kingsley: Learning the Importance of Personal Histories
Over the past five months, Claire Hitter (George L. Mosse Program Undergraduate Intern) and I have listened to, transcribed, and indexed one hundred different interviews from past and present, members of the Wisconsin Jewish community. These interviews were originally conducted in four different batches—the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and the early 2000s. The people in these interviews discussed topics and experiences ranging from escaping Nazi Germany to raising Jewish children in small Wisconsin communities. There were many fascinating interviews and I learned so much about Jewish life and Judaism. Here are a few interviews that really stood out to me.
Claire Hitter: Listening to the Past- How Oral Histories Keep Legacies Alive
From June to December 2018, I worked on a project at the Wisconsin Historical Society that brought history to life. I worked with my fellow George L. Mosse undergraduate intern Piper-Brown Kingsley to create abstracts and online records for archived oral interviews about Jewish life in Wisconsin; our goal was to make these interviews publicly available through the UW-Madison and Wisconsin Historical Society websites. Together, Piper and I created records for 100 interviews about Jewish life in Wisconsin. These interviews paint a vivid picture of the experiences of immigrants and most importantly the legacies of hundreds of individuals who chose to make Wisconsin their home from the nineteenth century until today. These individuals’ stories shed light on the true diversity of the Jewish immigrant experience and the members of the Wisconsin Jewish community. Furthermore, the experiences discussed in the interviews demonstrate how we can all create projects that will outlive us—from a summer camp to a safety supply company.