[Libs-Or] SOU Stories of Southern Oregon Digital Collection Launches

Maureen Battistella mbattistellaor at gmail.com
Mon May 15 09:44:56 PDT 2017

Southern Oregon University is pleased to announce the launch of STORIES OF
SOUTHERN OREGON, the newest of Hannon Library's Southern Oregon Digital
Archives (SODA) collection at http://soda.sou.edu. Some content is now
loaded and more is forthcoming.

Thanks to 2016 funding from the Oregon Heritage Commission, the STORIES
project collected more than 200 historic photos and videotaped interviews of
more than 30 farm and ranch families and helper agencies in Southern Oregon.
Included in these are the stories of four family properties designated as
Century Farms by the Oregon Century Farm and Ranch Program: Carpenter,
Parsons, Birdseye, Nealon. 

The STORIES project focuses on multigenerational farms and ranches and
examines how and why agricultural lands stay in the family under the rubric:
Landscape Gained, Landscape Lost, Landscape Changed. The stories collected
reflect the many factors and stresses facing farm and ranch families
including legislation, politics, succession, sustainability, urban sprawl,
and economics. All of the stories are poignant and meaningful to those
families telling stories, and those who hear them.

The STORIES project is making a tremendous impact, allowing people to tell
their stories, their family history, and the very real challenges these
families face today. Some stories would be lost without this project. Some
stories need to be told again and again so that others can hear them, so
folks can at one point, listen. The work is helping to preserve family farms
and ranches and to keep land in agricultural production. It is helping to
keep the conversation public and informational, not hostile or aggressive.
Helping others to understand another point of view.

There are many important stories to be documented, and on the strength of
the Oregon Heritage Commission grant, Southern Oregon University was awarded
a 2017 National Endowment for the Humanities grant in the Common Heritage
program to document Southern Oregon's work life in the fields, forests,
mills, and mines. This STORIES project, essentially phase II, launched on
May 11 and May 13 in Eagle Point. More than a dozen Story Days are planned
for Jackson and Josephine counties over the next couple of months. Thanks to
a partnership with the OSU Extension Service, collected stories will be
displayed at the 4-H exhibits at county and harvest fairs late summer and
early fall.

Thank you Oregon Heritage Commission. We are all so grateful for the
Commission's support and encouragement.

For more information contact Maureen Flanagan Battistella (SOU
Sociology/Anthropology) battistem at sou.edu cell 541-324-1382, Jeffrey Gayton
(SOU University Librarian) gaytonj at sou.edu, Mary Jane Cedar Face (SOU Hannon
Archives) cedarface at sou.edu, or Kate Cleland-Sipfle (SOU Hannon Cataloging
Coordinator) clelandk at sou.edu

Maureen Flanagan Battistella, MLS
Southern Oregon University Sociology Anthropology
Ashland, OR 97520
TA117 541-552-0743

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