Funding to support undergraduate oral history research on the City of Henderson
By Mandi Enger
History students at Nevada State College (NSC) will be working to preserve Henderson's past by collecting oral histories of area residents with the support of a recent $97,000 Library Services and Technology Act Grant (LSTA). Working closely with academic faculty and library staff, students will develop job skills in oral history collection and digital archiving while participating in an undergraduate research project focused on the southern Nevada city, titled Bridging the Past, Henderson Memories.
NSC is honored to have received the Library Services and Technology Act grant to support our college's efforts to document Henderson's history, said Peter La Chapelle, associate professor of history, who worked with NSC librarian Kate Hahn on the grant application. We are constantly seeking opportunities for our students to learn through hands-on experiences and to complete their degree program with marketable skills.
Project participants will work to convert over 30 historical interviews, previously collected by students in an upper division oral history course, into digitally accessible materials that will be available through a planned website. Additional interviews will be captured to document topics within the City of Henderson's history such as the Basic Magnesium Inc. (BMI) plant in the 1940s; the Victory Village and Carver Park neighborhoods, housing communities for BMI workers; the St. Rose de Lima hospital, the city's first hospital; and the growth of early religious institutions in the community.
Due to student interest in NSC's founding, interviews will additionally capture the college's11-year history. In total, the project will cover Henderson's founding through present day.
NSC Digital Project Manager, Melissa Stoner, who was hired to coordinate the project, will teach history students foundational techniques for digital archiving through ContentDM, an electronic archival platform, to make the final research accessible to a variety of users. Project footage will be presented online for viewing by the public as early as this coming summer.
We look forward to sharing our project with the entire community as the history of Henderson is one that we all share, Stoner said.
The LSTA program is a federally funded grant program administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Science (IMLS), an independent federal grant making agency. IMLS provides funding to designated state agencies which in turn distributes those funds to institutions throughout the state through sub-grants. The NSC sub-grant was received through a competitive application process by the Nevada State Library and Archives. Grant funds are to be used over a 12-month period.