Community Workshops and Events

Oral History Community Workshops

Learn the basics of oral history: asking questions, active listening, transcription tips, and how to preserve the stories of Worcester women. Do you want to help collect women's stories? Interested in the memories of relatives for a family history? Join members of the Worcester Women's Oral History Project for informative workshops on how to collect and share the experiences of Worcester women.

Workshops were developed with the help of Lisa Krissoff Boehm, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Graduate Studies at Bridgewater State University and former Regional Director of the New England branch of the Consortium of Oral History Educators (COHE). She is the author of Popular Culture and the Enduring Myth of Chicago and Making a Way Out of No Way: African American Women, Domestic Work, and the Second Great Migration, 1940-1970, which employs oral histories. She wrote a chapter for the work, Preparing the Next Generation of Oral Historians. Spanish workshops are available with translation by Pablo Guerra and Diana Ojeda, and Judy Freedman Fask, M.Ed., former Director of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies at College of the Holy Cross is available to advise on interviews conducted with the deaf community. Specially tailored workshops are available for a fee for local social, religious, or educational groups. Please e-mail to request a private workshop.

Oral History Events

The Oral History Project offers annual events that are open to the public. Events typically involve authors of oral histories and often include student presentations of oral histories of Worcester area women.

December 4, 2019  Worcester Women Activists - 5:30 p.m. Location TBA.  Worcester, MA, home of the first National Woman’s Rights Convention in 1850, was known as a center of radical abolitionist activity and social reform in the women’s rights movement. Today it is still the home of many activists who fight for social justice.  Dr. Selina Gallo-Cruz and her students have conducted and transcribed over 20 oral histories of local women for the Worcester Women’s Oral History Project.  She and Milagros Montenegro will share what was learned in this collaborative project, including insights into the lives of these Worcester women activists and their contributions to nonviolent social change and community building.

December 5, 2017  Immigrant and Refugee Stories of Worcester Women - Everyone has a story to tell.  This year WWOHP collaborated with five Worcester organizations that work with immigrants and refugees in order to gather stories of women who have more recently emigrated from a variety of countries, including Colombia, Algeria, Brazil, China, and Burma.

December 7, 2016 Women Unheard... No Longer! Hearing the Voices of Deaf Women in the Community  -  Judy Freedman Fask, former faculty member of the Deaf Studies program at College of the Holy Cross, presented her work with students and her collaboration with the Worcester Women's Oral History Project to collect oral histories of Deaf women throughout the community. She revealed how authentic stories of Deaf women are expressed, interpreted, and recorded so they can be shared with others.

December 1, 2015 Book Launch for In Her Shoes  Co-chairs of the Worcester Women's Oral History Project, Maureen Ryan Doyle and Charlene L. Martin,  presented their new book, In Her Shoes: A Compilation of Inspiring Stories from the First Decade of the Worcester Women's Oral History Project. They discussed how they researched and selected excerpts from the more than 300 oral histories from the WWOHP. The publication marks the occasion of the Project's 10th anniversary.

Dr. Charlene L. Martin and Maureen Ryan Doyle

December 3, 2014  Undergraduates Doing History: Integrating Oral History Projects into Humanities Courses   Dr. Carl Keyes, Associate Professor of History, Assumption College, discussed the value that undergraduate students in humanities courses derive from conducting oral history interviews, and also from the preparation of transcriptions and other documents for deposit in an archive. Dr. Keyes' presentation focused on how he has integrated oral history projects into History courses, and also included examples drawing from other disciplines, including Spanish and Women's Studies. Students also provided examples of how the experience of conducting oral histories impacted them.


Dr. Carl Keyes with Mikayla Bobrow and Hannah Yore, Clark University, and Katherine Jankun and Andrew Lampi, Assumption College.

December 3, 2013  Telling Our Stories is What Saves Us: How Autobiographies, Oral Histories, and Family Stories Matter    Dr. Lucia Knoles, Professor of English at Assumption College, explains how she began offering autobiography workshops to residents of her father's assisted living facility and how this led to writing circles at several facilities in the area. She explained that by writing their life stories the seniors not only found a way to share their stories, but also provided them with renewed self esteem and sense of purpose.   

  Dr. Lucia Knoles

December 11, 2012        Voices from Vietnam: Women Warriors and a New War Story   Dr. Karen Turner, film maker, writer, and College of the Holy Cross professor presented her documentary, Hidden Warriors: Women on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. This film focuses on the vast number of North Vietnamese women who went to war, a piece of history that is often overlooked. The film contains archival footage from Hanoi and it documents the daily lives and struggles of these women who helped build and defend the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The film is based on Dr. Turner’s book, Even the Women Must Fight: Memories of War from North Vietnam, which she co-authored with Phan Thanh Hao, a Vietnamese journalist. Using oral histories, private letters, and diaries, the authors delve into the important role North Vietnamese women played during the war.

 Dr. Karen Turner with Dr. Kristen Waters

December 6, 2011: Co-chairs of the Worcester Women's Oral History Project, Maureen Ryan Doyle and Charlene L. Martin,  presented their new book, Voices of Worcester Women: 160 Years after the First National Woman's Rights Convention. They discussed how they researched and selected excerpts from the more than 250 oral histories from the WWOHP. 


Maureen Ryan Doyle and Dr. Charlene L. Martin                                                                                                                                                                  

December 2, 2010: Dr. Kathryn Allamong Jacob, Curator of Manuscripts, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, presents Dear Diary: 100+ Years of Women's Private Writing.


 Linda Rosenlund, Charlene Martin, Dr. Jacob, Maureen Ryan Doyle           Dr. Jacob with Assumption College Student Presenters

December 10, 2009: Dr. Stephen Knott, presidential oral historian and author of At Reagan's Side: Insiders' Recollections from Sacremento to the White House.

Dr. Knott with Assumption College student presenters and OHP Co-chairs, Charlene L. Martin, Maureen Ryan Doyle, and Founding Chair, Linda Rosenlund





 April 20, 2009: Dr. Lisa Krissoff Boehm, oral historian and author of Making a Way Out of No Way: African American Women and the Second Great Migration.