Generation to Generation Project: The Living Legacy of Older Persons, 1979-1980

Potential Interviewees, Gen. to Gen. Project, OH 8441

                          Browse an inventory of the 81 oral histories in the collection

In the fall of 1979, under a grant from the Maryland Committee for the Humanities, an interview program was conducted among senior citizens who were part of AIM (Action in Maturity), the Senior Citizens Project of the Greater Homewood Community Corporation.

The project was based on the premise that “older persons contribute significantly to society in their later years.” According to Project Director Laura Ramsey the goals of the project were to “enhance the self worth of older people, provide a legacy, list seniors contributions to others, supplement existing data on the elderly who are independent and not living in nursing homes, and expel the myths about the elderly."

The 81 oral histories in this collection consist of 77 interviews, along with background documents relating to the project and other materials. The interviewees hailed from the Homewood community and surrounding neighborhoods and represented a diverse demographic: single, married, widowed, divorced, male, female, apartment dwellers and homeowners, ages 60-90, and of varying ethnic and racial backgrounds.

The interviews were conducted by students from Goucher College. Each interviewee was asked the same set of questions drawn from an interview questionnaire designed by nine scholars in the humanities including: Jean Baker, Chairman, History Department, Goucher College; Betty Key, Director of the Oral History Office, Maryland Historical Society; Linda Shopes, Oral Historian, Baltimore Neighborhood Heritage Project and Instructor in American Studies, UMBC.

The questions focused almost exclusively on the experiences of senior citizens. Topics include: the role of older people in interviewee's life during childhood, middle age, and as a senior citizen; recollections of the lives of senior citizens in the past; present relationships with others: young, old, and family members; general conditions of life for older people presently; society's view of older people.

Materials available for the interviews include audio recordings, tape indexes, newspaper and periodical clippings, biographical forms, interview evaluations, photographs and other items. Transcripts are available for twelve of the interviews.

In addition to the interviews, OH 8441 contains background documents and information on the project including newspaper clippings, programs, interviewer biographical material, photographs, and a project evaluation. OH 8438-OH 8440 are recordings of panel discussions related to the project.

To make a request to view transcripts or other materials from the Generation to Generation Project please contact the Special Collections  Department at specialcollections@mdhs.org, or speak to the Special Collections Librarian at the desk in the library.

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