A guide to the oral history collection of interviews with American Indian people conducted by Samuel I. Myers, Jr.,history professor at St. Louis Community College - Florissant Valley during his sabbatical semester, Fall 1975.
John Furlong, Senior Manager of Campus Library and Instructional Resources, prepared a paper which was presented at the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) World Library and Information Conference held in Lyon, France in August, 2014. Entitled Preserving and promoting the lives of Native Americans through oral histories, the paper explores the creation and preservation of the Listening to Indians collection at St. Louis Community College - Florissant Valley.
The Listening to Indians collection was featured during the April 2014 Global Gathering events on the Florissant Valley campus.
Kathleen Buescher-Milligan, assistant archivist, presented about the collection and how it came to be.
Also speaking on April 8 was Rick West, son of Dick West, one of the individuals interviewed by Sam Myers. West, now the director of The Autry National Center, was the founding director of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. West's session included lively interchange with the audience of students, staff and faculty.
Project Description – Details of Sam Myers’ sabbatical project called "Listening to Indians" and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant which enabled the resulting materials to be widely distributed.
“Memoirists” – Myers described the 144 interviewees as “memoirists” presumably because there was no formal structure to the interviews or rigid set of questions asked. The memoirists were guided to express their own lives and experiences, as remarkable or modest as they might have been. Memoirists are noted by name, tribe and the location where the interview took place.
Interview Transcripts – The NEH grant provided for typewritten transcription of the interviews. A PDF of each transcription is provided on this page. The transcriptions were also preserved in microfiche format through a project of the New York Times, copies of which were distributed to about 100 libraries across the United States.
Photos – This page is also a work in progress. It will include photographs related to the project, the memoirists and Sam Myers.
About Sam Myers – Biographical information on Samuel I. Myers, Jr., his life, career and point of view.
This collection would not have been possible without the support of John Furlong, Senior Manager of Campus Library and Instructional Resources, and Jeff Papier, reference librarian, assistant professor and campus archivist. Dr. Myron Marty, Sam Myer's office mate, and Mary Jane Zust, who transcribed the interviews, provided important background information. Edward Pfeifer led the migration of the cassette tapes to MP3 and WAVE digital formats using equipment that Bob Deppen unearthed and prepared for our use. Kathleen Myers Owen, one of Sam Myers' children, provided information about her father and a dynamic link to the family. Elizabeth Cash, an STLCC-Florissant Valley student, assisted with scanning the transcripts and conducting background research on the memoirists. Daniel Strawhun, also a STLCC-Florissant Valley student, led the process of incorporating the MP3 versions of each interview. Sheila Ouellette, Carol Bennett, Aaron Linder, Duane McFall and many others provided encouragement and assistance along the way. Thanks to all!
All images, recordings, transcripts and other materials included in this digital collection are intended for personal, educational or research purposes only. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond what is allowed by fair use will require the written permission of the copyright owner, St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley.
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