Making Family Memories:  Oral History Workshops

February 26, 2008, 10 am – 12:30 pm


March 25, 2008, 10 am – 12 pm


Lucky ones among us can remember being peacefully rocked in a parent’s or a grandparent’s lap as we listened to their stories of life long ago.  Family histories and family stories are a compelling way of linking generations together and grounding younger people with a sense of their place in time.   Like families, communities have elders, many of whom have fascinating stories to tell.  Windsor Historical Society announces the launch of a community oral history gathering initiative called “Bridging Centuries, Bridging Cultures” to honor Windsor’s 375th birthday in 2008.  Join us on Tuesday, February 26th from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., when oral historians Bruce and Sondra Stave will lead a free oral history workshop, introducing techniques involved in conducting effective oral histories. 


Participants will begin by defining their own interests and starting to think of a focus for their interviewing project.  Finding and contacting good interview candidates will be covered.  The Staves will emphasize how important it is to become knowledgeable about the people you interview and the subjects you will cover.  Equally important is developing a good list of open-ended questions and getting comfortable with recording equipment before the interview itself.  Putting interview subjects at ease, maintaining eye contact and interest throughout will maximize chances of success.   


At the end of the morning, participants will be better prepared to conduct their first interview.  A follow-up workshop will take place a month later on Tuesday, March 25, giving participants ample time to complete an oral history interview.  At the follow-up session, interview experiences will be shared and discussed.    


The Society has begun gathering names of Windsor residents who have knowledge of neighborhood development, memorable Windsor individuals and families, community businesses and industries, and historical events.  Educator Julia Baldini has also started working with Windsor high school students on an oral history initiative called “Coming of Age in Windsor”, where seniors and students will share with one another their school and work experiences, ethnic traditions, and the joys and awkwardness of growing up.   If you are interested in being interviewed, interviewing, or transcribing oral history interviews for either project, please contact Julia Baldini at 688-3813 or


Workshop participants are encouraged to join the Society’s community history gathering initiative, but it is also fine to attend for more personal reasons such as learning how to make an elderly relative feel at ease recording family stories.  The workshops are free, but call 688-3813 by February 25th to reserve your

spot.  Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with community or family members and preserve their stories for all to enjoy.  Parking is available around Palisado Green and in the First Church and Windsor Discovery Center Parking lots.


These events are part of an exciting year-long round of programs planned by Windsor Historical Society, the Town of Windsor, and the Windsor Chamber of Commerce.  Many generous sponsors and supporters have helped to make Windsor Historical Society’s events possible including:

         Presenting Sponsors: Anonymous Donor; Connecticut Humanities Council; Hartford Foundation for Public Giving;

         Adventurer Sponsors:  Dan J. and Alice Ford Ferraina; Travelers Connecticut Foundation; Windsor Federal Savings;

         Discoverer Sponsors: MiddleOak Specialty Insurance; Alstom Power

         Founder Sponsors:  Anonymous Donor; Dill, Joyce & Thresher Insurance; ING; Jim and Kathi Martin; Rabbett Insurance Agency, Savings Bank Life Insurance;

         Settler Sponsors: Alford Associates, Inc.; Bill Selig Family Foundation; Carmon Funeral Homes; Elizabeth Feser;  Griffin Land and Nurseries, Inc.; HD2 Development; Pelton Excavation Company; Price Chopper; Rotary Club of Windsor; Stop and Shop Supermarkets; Webster Bank.



Windsor Historical Society       96 Palisado Avenue       Windsor, CT 06095  


Tel:  860-688-3813

Fax:  (860) 687-1633




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Copyright © 2006 by Windsor Historical Society of Windsor, Connecticut, Inc.