Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tuesday - 5/24/2016 - 11 am -1 pm

Today was the first day to actually handle the spools we have here. They total three boxes with 14 reels in box 122, these are interviews regarding the Kansas city flood. Box 123 will be the big one as I understand it. These would for the most part be the Holocaust spools. Some seem not to be such as several spools that seem to be recorded radio programs from 1945 and 1946. However these 17 spools may include some interviews and recordings that are not available to the public yet, at least I am hoping. The spools are not very well labeled so I am not sure what interviews are on what spools. The final box, box 124, has spools labeled Case Study Sylvia. There are 17 of these spools, they all seem to be from 1951. I am unsure what these are or what is on them. Once I pull some of the Boder papers I should have some sort of indication.

After going through the spools and taking stock of what is in the boxes I moved on to seeing just what the Library of Congress has in the way of the Boder recordings. I went through their catalog and found the entries for the recordings. They are all listed by the name of who is being interviewed, these do not link up with the way the spools we have are labeled. As a result I could not easily compare what we have compared to what they have. This will be a task I will have to undertake after the digitization of these audio spools.


  1. Wow - what interesting material here Jon. Can you say more about the people being interviewed and the context for these?

    1. It would certainly be a wide swath of people. In terms of the Kansas City flood it is my understanding that Boder actually interviewed quite a few minority peoples that were displaced. I guess some researchers studying the history of FEMA have taken interest in these recordings, as have some researchers looking at how the city was then divided racially and the disproportionate numbers of whites being helped by the government when compared to other racial groups.

      The Holocaust recordings, it is my understanding, are of all sorts of people. If I recall correctly there are some 43 or so interviews and they are of women and men, young and old. At least one was a rabbi and another a doctor. I am unsure if they are from across Europe or just certain areas. They were all recorded in 1946 and were the first oral histories done regarding the holocaust (it is interesting though that since the term didn't exist yet they use several other terms in the recordings I have heard such as "the tragedy").