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NORTHWEST HISTORY ROOM
 

What is oral history? The term oral history refers to the recording, preservation and interpretation of personal memories and experiences. Oral history provides uniquely intimate, first-hand accounts of historical people, places and events, which complement the written documents and photographs we often use to learn about history.

The oral history collection at the Everett Public Library is a rich resource for learning about and understanding the Everett communitys history and local heritage. These interviews bear witness to the citys boomtown beginnings in the late 19th century and periods of change and growth throughout the 20th century.

The Everett Public Library oral history collection began in 1974. The purpose was to preserve the memories of dozens of local senior citizens. Many of the original interviews in this collection captured the voices of individuals who arrived in Everett's earliest days. Their recollections are a remarkable connection to the formative years of the Everett community. They are a tremendous source of insight into a time that would otherwise be lost or simply unknown to us today had they not been recorded.

This digital collection includes a portion of the library's entire oral history collection. New recordings will be added regularly as they are digitized. The individuals recorded here include the sons and daughters of Everett pioneers, many of whom arrived in Everett before 1900.

Listen to the eclectic voices and experiences of detectives, circus performers, athletes, teachers, business and civic leaders, and other individuals who helped shape Everetts history. Each interview bears witness to nearly a century of Everetts political, economic, cultural and social development.

Topics include: President Tafts visit; the Everett Massacre; Al Jolsons show at the Everett Theater; the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition; bootlegging and the Prohibition; banking and finance; local business like grocery stories, shoe stores, and the Tontine Saloon; the Big Snow; sawmills; mines and mining; sports; music; and emigration to Everett. These are just some of the memories you can listen to in this collection. Each story paints a fascinating portrait of Everetts history.

Most of the interviews in the oral history collection were recorded on tape cassettes in the 1970s. They were transferred to CD in 2002 for digital preservation purposes. In 2008, they were converted to digital recordings to be made available to the public on the Everett Public Library website. You can now listen to the recordings online or download them to an iPod or other MP3 player.

Each interview includes basic biographical information about the interviewee, including date and place of birth and date and place of death. Other items in this collection include transcripts and written excerpts of interviews, photographs, hand-written manuscripts, obituaries and newspaper articles, and articles published in the Journal of Everett and Snohomish County History to help put interviews in context and to provide more information about the interviewee.

Notes from the original oral history interview data sheets are provided as a guide to contents in each interview. Time points in the interview notes are approximate.

Northwest Room staff is available to help you learn more about the individuals featured in this collection and the local history stories they share.

 

David Dilgard
History Specialist
2702 Hoyt Ave.
Everett, WA 98201
T: 425-257-8005
F: 425-257-8016
E:

 

Lisa Labovitch
History Specialist
2702 Hoyt Ave.
Everett, WA 98201
T: 425-257-8005
F: 425-257-8016
E:

Main Library

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