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The Birthplace of Effingham County

From the Desk of      

From the Desk of      

         Thomas Grovenstein

The Loest Research Library (LRL) has an exciting announcement to make that truly involves each one of us. We are embarking on a long-range project: “The Salzburger Oral History Project.” I alluded to this endeavor in the Winter 2023 newsletter, but now I hope to put everyone to work bringing it to life.  What will make our project exciting to young and old alike is that everyone is needed to make this work at the optimum level.

   As we get older, most of us become more interested in our families’ histories. Fortunately, Salzburger descendants have a good start through the availability of the LRL. Yet, the LRL needs much more historical information to fill in many gaps. As our parents, grandparents and great grandparents age and pass into history, we as a people lose huge volumes of historical information.  Our Oral History Project can bring this   information back from possible extinction.

   Over the next year, we hope that you readers will use the information that LRL provides, as well as information that you find on the internet, to interview those in your family who are older and who remember information vital for long range history gathering.  All that we are is because of those who came before us; having an oral history is essential for long range historical perspective. We want to put into future   generations the past before us now. So, if you have read this far – thank you! Now, what next?

   We suggest this method:  Almost everyone today owns or has ready access to a cell phone with a camera.  Using the ‘video’ function on your phone, you can make your very own history documentary. By using short, pointed questions, ask the interviewee (that makes you the interviewer) to answer the questions to the best of their memory and ability. There are no ‘wrong’ answers and often, one question leads naturally to the next question. Informality is the most comfortable way to interview, and the overall question and answer session can take multiple interviews. This is the list I have put together, although it is by no means the full list, and the questions are in no particular order.

   With that, the only thing left is to get your information to the LRL. We ask that you send your written works to the GSS office via email [email protected] or via mail to Georgia Salzburger Society, 2980 Ebenezer Rd., Rincon, GA. 31326, and send completed video interviews on a flash drive to that same address. Once received, we will catalogue and place it onto a dedicated server. The videos will be available to LRL volunteers and GSS members who are currently involved with specific research on individual family. With the permission of the interviewee, the video may be edited for length and uploaded to the GSS YouTube channel.  To give you an idea as to what a completed oral history interview looks like, go to the YouTube channel: Georgia Salzburger Society, and find the video where Erika Bragg is interviewing Tom Grovenstein.  While this interview is not a full-length video, it will give everyone an example of the process, which Erika and I completed in less than half an hour. Those without videoing capabilities may make an appointment to film a video on-site at the GSS in Ebenezer.

   Below is a list of questions. Good luck with the project and thank you very much for participating in this endeavor!  ~ Tom Grovenstein

 Click on the The Salzburger Oral History Project for Examples of Questions