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Oral History

Information about LAGANZ's oral history activities, including oral history training being offered in November and December 2007 in Wellington.

16 October 2007

LAGANZ recently received a grant that enables us to initiate a programme of oral history projects and activities.  For now, our immediate focus is:

  • organising oral history training for volunteers in Wellington (intended as a pilot, training in other regions will follow);
  • coordinating a group of volunteers to conduct interviews, do preparatory research and the processing of completed interviews;
  • identifying potential oral history interviewees; and
  • seeking funding for specific oral history interview projects.

Oral History Training

LAGANZ is offering training in Wellington on 24 November and 8 December to people interested in helping the Archives to record oral history interviews with members of New Zealand's diverse 'queer' communities.

The training is open to anyone from the Wellington region's queer, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, takatāpui, fa'afafine and intersex communities who can commit to attending both days of the training.

Date/Time 24 November & 8 December 2007, 9am-4.30pm both days
Venue National Library of New Zealand, cnr Molesworth & Aitken Sts, Wellington
Cost $50 per person (to help defray expenses); tea & coffee provided.
Contact Dr Alison Laurie, alison.laurie@vuw.ac.nz , (04) 463 5267.

As LAGANZ's chair and one of the oral history trainers, Dr Alison Laurie, says:

“Many of us can think of people from our communities who have wonderful stories to tell that should be recorded before it is too late. Perhaps someone who has been in a long-standing lesbian relationship, or someone who was a young man in Wellington while the US Marines were based here.

It's important to think about recording not only the ‘stars’ of our political movements whose lives may already have been recorded or written about, but also to record the stories of all those incredible ‘stars’ of their own lives who survived through the years when male homosexuality was illegal, and perhaps overcame stigma, family opposition, losing jobs, having to live a lie in the closet, for example, in order to be themselves.

Everyone's story is important, and it is only by collecting as many stories as we can that will we be able to assemble a social history of our past and present queer communities so that future queer people can understand what our lives were like.”

Participants will learn how to research and prepare for interviews, how to run an interview, how to operate recording equipment and how to process material after the interview. The second part of the training will take place after trainees have had a chance to conduct an interview and will be an opportunity to share experiences with the other trainees.

LAGANZ will be offering ongoing support for oral history volunteers after the training, including arranging regular meetings for volunteers to share experiences and matching volunteers with interviewees.

Volunteers will be needed to help with the research and processing material after the interview, so there are lots of ways people can get involved with LAGANZ's oral history projects without necessarily having to conduct interviews themselves.  We encourage interested people to come along to the training to learn more about what is involved and then decide how they might like to contribute.

Register Your Interest

A detailed outline of the training and a short registration form will be available here soon.

If you are interested in the training, please do contact Dr Alison Laurie by email - alison.laurie@vuw.ac.nz - to register your interest with us, even if you are not 100% certain that you can attend.  Alison is happy to answer any queries - (04) 463 5267.

About the Trainers

Dr Alison Laurie and Linda Evans will be running the training.  Linda Evans is an oral historian and trainer, a Curator of the Oral History Centre of the Alexander Turnbull Library and a curator of LAGANZ.  Dr Alison Laurie is programme director and senior lecturer in Gender and Women's Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, and also teaches oral history there and in the community.  Dr Alison Laurie is the current Chair of the LAGANZ Trust.  Both Linda Evans and Dr Alison Laurie are executive committee members of the National Oral History Association of New Zealand (NOHANZ). 

LAGANZ Media Statement

LAGANZ media statement (16 Oct 2007): Lesbian and Gay Archives offers oral history training (MS Word, 76 KB)




Last updated: 16/10/07

Lesbian and Gay Archives of New Zealand (LAGANZ) | Te Pūranga Takatāpui o Aotearoa
PO Box 11-695, Manners Street, Wellington
Alexander Turnbull Library, 58-78 Molesworth Street
Wellington
NEW ZEALAND
Tel: +64 4 474 3000
Fax: +64 4 474 3063