Conference funds history project

Herald Intern

The Hyde Park Historical Society has received a $500 grant from the Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference (HP-K CC). The money will be used to support the Society’s oral history project, which has begun a new effort to preserve the story of the conference and its community.

Kathy Huff, a historical society organizer who co-chairs the group’s oral history committee, said Jane Ciacci, a society member and former HP-K CC president, suggested the group help document the conference’s history. The historical society decided to focus its annual program, Hyde Park-Kenwood Stories, which brings locals together to present memories, on HP-K CC.
“We had people from all walks of life,” said Huff, adding that the event had an impressive turnout.

The program spurred the rebirth of a historical society project from the 1980s and 90s, Huff said. The society will use high-quality audio-visual equipment to capture the stories of Hyde Park and Kenwood residents.

Huff recalled the remarks of another member of the committee, saying, “though maybe not an emergency, this is an emergent situation, because many of these folks are in their 80s and 90s.”

She said potential interviews will reflect the community’s diversity. Huff said the historical society could have interviewed academics but instead chose “people from all walks of life, from shopkeepers to women who were active in the community.”

Oral history committee money will go in part to transcribing the old oral histories, which costs about $400 for each interview the society makes. Other costs include training workshops for interviewers and purchasing equipment that can produce high-definition recordings.