Mining Memories, a How To by Dr. MJ Morgan

Dr. MJ Morgan giving a presentation on Oral History at the Manhattan Public Library to commemorate the Rile County's Genealogical Society's 50th Anniversary.

Dr. MJ Morgan giving a presentation on Oral History at the Manhattan Public Library to commemorate the Rile County’s Genealogical Society’s 50th Anniversary.

Chapman Center Research Director MJ Morgan spoke Sunday afternoon, October 13, 2013, at the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Riley County Genealogical Society. Her talk, “Reliability in Oral History,” was based on at least forty interviews she and undergraduates did to collect material for our 2010 book, Portrait of a Lost Town: Broughton, Kansas:  1869-1966.

The Riley County Genealogical Society’s History:

For fifty years, the library has been a major genealogical research facility located in Manhattan, Kansas. [Their] research resources include over five thousand volumes in its holdings with a comprehensive collection of family histories, books, and records, representative of every U.S. State and most European countries, census, marriage, deed, school and cemetery records, a Kansas collection for each of the 105 counties, a large holding of information on microfilm and microfiche, internet access to the worldwide community, plus its own website. The Society continues to publish genealogical boos, a quarterly journal and a member newsletter. [The Society is] a non-profit organization, serviced by volunteers who provide thousands of hours annually to maintain research resources for the public. The research library is open to the public five days a week, twelve months a year.

During the presentation Dr. Morgan debunked popular misconceptions about the reliability of oral history. She gave valuable tips on how to use and verify oral history, including showing a clip of a recorded interview, given by Dr. Morgan herself, of an elderly woman from Clay Center.

Here, former Undergraduate Research Assistant Angela Schnee talks with an audience member after the presentation. Angela, who graduated last spring, came to help Dr. Morgan with the talk. She assisted Chapman Center students for over two years with their research. She is missed!

Here, former Undergraduate Research Assistant Angela Schnee talks with an audience member after the presentation.

Angela Schnee, who graduated last spring, came to help Dr. Morgan with the talk. She assisted Chapman Center students for over two years with their research. She is missed! Also indispensable: Office Manager Amanda Dempster, who helped to create Power Point images and also edited a film clip of an interview in Clay Center. Thank you to Angela and Amanda!

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