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The Cayuga Museum and Seymour Library Are Collecting the Diverse Voices of Cayuga County

Jun 22nd, 2020

The Seymour Library and Cayuga Museum of History and Art are excited to begin their brand-new oral history collecting project, Voices of Cayuga County! Through this project, the museum and the library intend to create an ongoing culture of story-sharing in Auburn and provide an accessible database of local oral histories that better reflects the community’s diversity and how that diversity has impacted Auburn and the county’s history. By making a conscious effort towards enhancing a diverse representation and focusing on individual stories, the goal is for the community to become more directly engaged with archiving their personal connection to and role in history.

To start this project, we are thrilled to introduce our new Oral History Intern, Alexis Rivers, to the community! A recent graduate of SUNY Geneseo (with a B.A. in History, minors in Anthropology and American Studies) and longtime resident of Weedsport, we are thrilled to have her starting on our new project, Voices of Cayuga County.

For her internship, Alexis will collect and make accessible oral histories documenting groups underrepresented in the historical record of Cayuga County. These groups include, but are not limited to, African American, Latinx, LGBTQ+, and immigrant communities. The oral histories will be made freely available to everyone in the New York Heritage Digital Collections (nyheritage.org). This internship opportunity is supported by a grant from the South Central Regional Library Council (SCRLC), and will end in August.

In her own words: “I am very excited to be a part of this project. I think it is a great opportunity for people and groups that have been historically silenced to highlight their communities. Even though we can’t do in-person interviews, I think that the video calls will be a fun way to document stories and histories, as well as document the time we are currently working and living in.” 

We welcome Alexis to our team. We are excited to see this project get off the ground with her help! She has already begun to meet with a few members of the community, but the museum and library still seek active community participation in this important initiative.

If you are interested in being interviewed for Voices of Cayuga County or would like to learn more, please contact Geoffrey Starks at geoffrey@cayugamuseum.org or 315-253-8051

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