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Posted: Mar 31, 2010  10:08

IHC Awards $2000 Oral History Project Grant To The Boundary County Historical Society


The Idaho Humanities Council has awarded a $2000 grant to support an oral history project in conjunction with a traveling Smithsonian Exhibit Journey Stories May 28-July 10, 2010. Journey Stories are the narrative accounts of immigrants and migrants and the chronological development and impact of transportation on the peoples of America for four hundred years.

The history of Boundary County records several waves of immigrants over two hundred years, including miners, loggers, farmers, and the back-to-the landers of the 1970s. This oral history project includes digitizing 250 cassette tapes of oral interviews of old-timers in the 1980s, as well as recording oral interviews of present day residents. State oral historian Kathy Hodges will present an all day oral history workshop at the museum on March 24 from 9-4. Call the museum 267-7720 for more information.

In the 1970s, the populations of most of America including Idaho were migrating from rural to urban areas. Boundary County was an exception, where an influx of young back-to-the land people left the cities to make Boundary County their homes. The population surge was well documented by a 1976 University of Idaho Agriculture Economics Master thesis project, "The Impact of the Back-to-the Land People on Boundary County" , by David Stubbs. This migration will be revisted by recording oral interviews with several people who moved to Boundary County in the 1970s. In June, their stories will be shared along with the stories of people who made Boundary County their home during the "Dust Bowl" migration. The project will involve community volunteer efforts to digitize the earlier tapes, collect interviews of both generations of migrants, and to find the stories to be told. Of particular interest are participants of the 1970s survey. If you are interested in volunteering call project director Gini Woodward 267-5638.

This oral history project is supported in part by the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Idaho Humanities Council is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing public understanding and appreciation of literature, history, law, anthropology, and other humanities disciplines. The Council receives its funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and from the generous philanthropy of corporations, foundations, and individuals. For more information, visit the IHC website at


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