Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First Person Project Rolls Out!

Dana Miller and Skip Hulett, following First Person Project Interview #1,
in the Bob Short Oral History Studio, Richard B. Russell Library Gallery.
On Friday, June 22, the Russell Library inaugurated the First Person Project, an oral history series inspired by the belief that everyone is an eyewitness to history, and that everyone, sometimes with a little encouragement, has a story to tell. Modeled roughly on StoryCorps, a national initiative with partners including National Public Radio and the Library of Congress, First Person Project is much smaller in scale but similar in concept, providing tools to would-be oral history interviewers and interviewees, including tips on how to create questions and conduct interviews.  Then we pair the participants with an audio technician and studio space -- in the form of the Bob Short Oral History Studio in the Richard B. Russell Library Gallery -- and record the resulting interview, which is archived at the Russell Library.

Our first session was a tremendous success. We recorded three interviews that, since we were "beta testing," included UGA Libraries personnel as interviewer or interviewee.  Dana Miller and Skip Hulett, from the Hargrett Library, set the bar high, with Dana interviewing Skip regarding Mitchell Terry Mincey, a death row inmate who was executed in Bibb County in October 2001.  Skip, a newspaper reporter before coming to work at UGA, had known Mincey since covering Mincey's murder trial in 1982. Skip's story of their relationship until Mincey's death illuminates an aspect of Mincey's story that might not otherwise have been told, and also tells us a lot about Skip. Credit where it's due, also, to Dana Miller, who demonstrated all the traits of a good interviewer. Here's the interview:

We hope to announce the next session of the First Person Project soon. In the meantime, be sure to check out the FPP website for more information.

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