Message from Juliana McDonald, Chair of the SfAA Oral History Project (OHP)

The SfAA Oral History Project is the documentation of applied/practicing anthropology.  Around 2000, John van Willigen (Professor Emeritus University of Kentucky) began collecting, transcribing, editing, and publishing oral history interviews with applied and practicing anthropologists.  Under his steady guidance over the years, others have added to the OHP resulting in a collection of 162 interviews plus a collection of 24 Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology interviews (at present).  Interviews include a great variety of lengthy discussions of careers, projects, events, ethics, methods, and theory among many other topics.  

The OHP is archived with the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky (SfAA OHP).  The collection is among the largest archived in the center.  Because of John’s selfless volunteerism and tireless dedication to the project, we are honored to have this collection to ensure that the history of applied work is protected and easily available for both scholars and the public now and in the future.  Because the interviews are published (e.g., Oral History Bibliography) the collection generates a significant amount of inquiries from the public and academic community.  Additionally, Doug Boyd (Director) and Kopana Terry (Oral History Archivist) of the Nunn Center deserve our deepest appreciation for contributing countless volunteered hours to the project.    

We are planning to have an information table for the project and are organizing a session (TBA) at the meeting.  We invite all members to learn more about the collection and get involved in the OHP.  At the session, we will honor John for his work and you can meet the OHP Committee members.  Look for this in the meeting program, coming soon! 

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