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Oral History Program

NOAA Fisheries – Voices from the Fisheries

The Voices from the Fisheries Database is a central repository for consolidating, archiving, and disseminating oral history interviews related to commercial, recreational, and subsistence fishing in the United States and its territories.

We are in the process of uploading our oral history interviews. Under “Collection Name” scroll down to “New Jersey’s Delaware Bayshore”, then click on “Search”  Click here to listen

What is Oral History?

Another way to find out about the recent past is to talk to people who were there. Oral History is the technique for gathering such recollections: the collecting of any individual’s spoken memories of his/her life, of people he has known, and events he has witnessed or participated in.

The Bayshore Center at Bivalve’s Oral History program is dedicated to preserving the oral history and culture of New Jersey’s Bayshore region by saving for posterity the oral histories and material culture connected with the Bayshore region, by creating a repository of recordings and data that can be used for research, by preserving, treasuring and celebrating the environment, history and culture of the Bayshore region and by sharing the heritage of the Bayshore region today and with future generations through program related activities serving visitors, students and scholars.

Would you be interested in being a narrator?

Are you interested in sharing your memories or stories that were told to you by family members about the Bayshore Region?

We are looking to collect oral histories relating to:

A.  African American’s role in the oyster industry, local business, local farming and everyday family life along the Delaware Bayshore.

B.  Residents and descendents of the populations who made their living in the Shipping Sheds. Storekeepers, restaurant owners, post office workers, oyster company owners, oyster workers, and railroad personnel.

C.  Oyster schooner, CASHIER, collecting any oral recordings from workers, owners, and other business people who had direct dealings with the CASHIER.

D.  Family, business people, citizens of the Delaware Bayshore that had involvement or memories of the Schooner A.J. MEERWALD.

E.  Lenni Lenape story in the Delaware Bayshore area.

F.  Women of the Delaware Bayshore relating to their roles as wives, boat owners, business women, landladies, fisherwomen, storeowners, landlords, etc.

Would you be interested in becoming one of interviewers?

Oral history research is more than simply recording a conversation. It takes time and work to do the job fully and well; but using the techniques of oral history, we can create a document of great value to the Bayshore Center at Bivalve and others who come after us.

Good news! You already have the basic skills for doing oral history. These come from life-long experience in the processes of human interaction. The oral history interview builds on this basic social competence. Then we fine tune the skill level with a formal training. We also provide you with all necessary recording equipment and supplies. Plus, we do the research and provide you with a complete contact list of prospective narrators for you to interview. We also encourage our interviewers to provide us with potential narrators, as an example, your own parents, grandparents, friends or neighbors who may meet our criteria.

Contact the Museum Curator at 856.785.2060 x109 or for more information.

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