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IC collects audio records to serve future historians


The Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives at Illinois College is inviting current students, faculty and staff, alumni, and friends of the College to record their experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic through remote video conferencing.

The digital history effort is part of the “Archive Your Story” initiative to record and document this unprecedented moment in shared history through short, guided oral history conversations. 
“Capturing campus experiences gives us the opportunity to teach future students, researchers, and community members how we dealt with the challenges we faced,” Jenny Barker-Devine, associate professor of history, said. 
The project builds on previous campus and local history projects in the Khalaf Al Habtoor Archives, including recent work conducted by Stacy Bile ’20. Bile served as the College’s oral history intern in summer 2019 as part of a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges. 

Digitally capturing the conversations will contribute to the College’s ongoing work to add audio visual records to its existing collections. Interviews will be coordinated through the archives and conducted and transcribed by public history student leaders. 

According to Samantha Sauer, archivist and curator of the Paul Findley Congressional Museum, public history students have been trained to use relevant technologies and apply best practices to the project. With this critical work, students are honing and gaining hands-on experience, connecting their work caring for existing historic campus collections to documenting and recording this moment in history. The collection will serve as an educational resource available publicly through the database JSTOR Forum.

“Recording personal experiences are especially important because historians need to know how major global events affected  daily life for individuals,” Barker-Devine added. “This project will create an invaluable resource and learning tool for decades to come.” 

 Interested participants will be able to review a set framework of guiding questions as well as related release forms prior to the conversation. Contact Samantha Sauer at 217.245.3595 or for more information. 

About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit or call 217.245.3467 for more information.

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