Public Info

Learn How to Create a Personal Oral History (updated)

create your own oral history workshop flyerUnion County, NJ – March 23, 2022  — Oral history has become a popular way to preserve personal experiences, family legacies and community heritage. Now Union County residents can learn how to create their own oral histories, through the new “Introduction to Oral History Workshop” on Wednesday, April 6, at 6:00 p.m., at the Liberty Hall Academic Center and Exhibition Hall on the Kean University campus, at 1003 Morris Avenue #2 in Union Township.

The event is free and open to the public. Update: pre-registration is requested by using the online form at

“The Commissioner Board encourages all Union County residents with an interest in family or personal histories to come to the workshop, and learn how they can help preserve the past and inform future generations,” said Union County Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams. “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Kean University and the Union County Historical Society for partnering in this project.”

The hands-on oral history workshop will introduce participants to the practice of oral history. Participants will be able to apply the principles of oral history during the workshop, using any topic of their own interest from current affairs to life histories and community stories.

The workshop will be presented by Dr. Abigail Perkiss, Assistant Professor of History at Kean University.

Dr. Perkiss is the Managing Editor of the Oral History Review and Vice President of the organization Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region. She completed her joint J.D./Ph.D. in U.S. history at Temple University and earned a graduate certificate from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.

Dr. Perkiss’s current project is Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey’s Forgotten Shore, an oral history documenting the impact and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in three neighborhoods along the Sandy Hook Bay. The project was developed in the classroom with Kean undergraduate students in 2013.

She is also the author of Making Good Neighbors: Civil Rights, Liberalism, and Integration in Postwar Philadelphia, an examination of intentionally integrated neighborhoods in the latter half of the twentieth century, author of the forthcoming book, Staring out to Sea: Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey’s Forgotten Shore, and co-author of a manuscript for the Reacting to the Past game-based history curriculum at Barnard College titled, Changing the Game: Title IX, Gender, and Athletics in American Universities.

The oral history workshop is part of a series of history lectures hosted jointly by the Union County Board of County Commissioners through the Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, Kean University, and the Union County Historical Society.

For more information about the series contact John Prescott, History Program Coordinator at the Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, at 908-436-2912 or

The Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs is a division of the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information on all programs and activities visit cultural, email, or call 908-558-2550.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at

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