My first encounter with public history and shared authority occurred when I volunteered as an oral historian with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project between 2003 and 2005. I designed and implemented an oral history project in which I collected memories of service of World War II veterans living in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. I submitted twelve oral histories over a two year period to be preserved in the Library of Congress. Three have been made into digital collections. You may view them here. This project inspired the local library to start an annual veterans appreciation reception and hosted a Smithsonian traveling exhibit on the World War II home front experience. I also had the opportunity to conduct on-site interviews at the National World War II Memorial dedication in 2004.
Skills Used/Acquired: oral history methods, transcription and editing, project management, and public outreach.