The Scarborough Oral History Project

Project Description: 

Visit the Collections

The Scarborough Oral History Project builds on and expands existing university-community collaborations among UTSC faculty across disciplines and community organizations in Scarborough and gives researchers at all levels the opportunity to engage directly retelling the story of Scarborough from within.  

The SOHP initiative began in the fall of 2013 with the first offering of a successful interdisciplinary course in Oral History – Oral History and Urban change – involving faculty and students from City Studies, History and Womens’ and Gender Studies.  Since that first offering faculty from Sociology have participated and others have shown interest in working on future joint offerings of this course concept.  Interest in the SOHP is growing and new collections are being added including course-based collections from HISD44 Nearby History, HISD48 Selected Topics in Canadian Womens’ History, the 2014 offering of Oral History and Urban Change and finally the Stories of UTSC: 1964-2014 legacy project. 

A significant part of the work of this project has been the development of The Oral History Solution Pack, leading edge technology to archive oral histories and make them available for a variety of pedagogical and research purposes.  The Oral Histories Solution Pack will serve the needs of the Scarborough Oral History Project, but also provide a generalized solution to the rest of the scholarly community. Early iterations of the software have drawn interest from the LGBT archives, the Florida Virtual Campus, and the University of Prince Edward Island. By leveraging and participating in Open Source communities, this development effort promises to provide software with greater longevity and continual support than other efforts in this sphere. The Oral History Solution Pack is built in the Islandora framework, which leverages the popular, open-source Drupal content management system, as well as Fedora repository software, designed to help manage and archive digital data.

This project is currently under development and we invite anyone interested to join us in moving forward.  

Contact: chris.berkowitz@utoronto.ca  

The SOHP has received support from the Office of the Dean.