Hagley Museum and Library launched its online collection of local oral histories July 10.
From 1954 to 1990, Hagley Museum and Library staff and volunteers interviewed more than 150 individuals who lived and worked in the Brandywine Valley throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Researchers, members of the public and descendants of those individuals interviewed can listen to the collection of Brandywine Valley oral histories at hagley.org/brandywineproject.
Hagley Library staff organized the exhibit with a thematic selection of clips highlighting a few of the prominent subjects in the oral history interviews. The subjects include childhood memories from life along the Brandywine, holidays and traditions celebrated by Hagley workers and their families, recipes and drinks made by families living in the area and details of working life along the Brandywine.
In 2013 and 2014, Hagley digitized and preserved the audio recordings from their original reel-to-reel and cassette tape formats along with the interview transcripts. The interviews document work, traditions, social life and household routines. They underscore the inherent danger of black powder production with harrowing descriptions of explosions and accidents.
For more, visit hagley.org.