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BPL Oral History Project Comes to Clinton Hill

August 12, 2015
Clinton Hill Public Library in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Ehblake

Clinton Hill Public Library in Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Ehblake

The Department of Outreach Services of the Brooklyn Public Library is embarking on an ambitious project which will “explore the Brooklyn that is and the Brooklyn that was, from the words of the community that lives here,” said Emma Clark of the BPL.

“The goal of the project is to create neighborhood-specific history archives based around interviews with Brooklyn residents, in order to record and preserve the history of our changing neighborhoods before it is forgotten,” said Clark. “As a public library, we are uniquely positioned to not only witness the change taking place all around us, but also to record and preserve the history of our neighborhoods before that history is forgotten.”

Essential to the success of the project are the older people of the neighborhood. Seniors are the main repositories of our past, and the project is seeking out their help. Others well acquainted with the neighborhood, such as those who have done extensive work in the area, are also encouraged to contact Clark at
The outcome of the project will be spoken stories recorded and place online and scanned photos of the people and places in the neighborhood.

“We want to know what makes Clinton Hill unique, and record the perspectives and memories of the people that live and work here in order to illuminate the changes in the neighborhood in a specific and personal fashion,” Clark added.

“This is not a commercial enterprise in any fashion, rather it is an outreach initiative of the public library designed to connect neighborhood residents with their local history and to facilitate conversations about the changing face of the neighborhood.”


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