The Montclair History Center spent most of 2018 – Montclair’s 150th anniversary – steeped in an oral history project hoping to capture as many Montclairites’ stories as possible. To date, 60 oral histories, with over 70 people, have been recorded.
The project was made possible by a grant from the NJ Council for the Humanities.
Last week the history center announced the receipt of a second council grant for phase two of the project.
“I’m pleased to report that we found out that we received a grant for Phase II of the project. This part of the project will help us determine the best uses for the material we have gathered… types of media, dissemination, archive accessibility, etc,” said History Center executive director Jane Eliasof.
In the Many Voices of Montclair oral history project launched in March, residents told their histories in connection to Montclair through a partnership with Montclair State University students and the history center.
Chris Matthews of the Archeology department at Montclair State University guided his students through the interview process with the goal being to record the stories of a diverse group of residents from a wide variety of neighborhoods and decades, creating a multifaceted snapshot of Montclair in the early to mid-20th century.
“This year, as part of our Many Voices Oral History Project, we heard so many stories. Stories of everyday life, of life during a World War, of loves lost and loves found, of people settling into a new land and making it their home,” said Eliafsof.