Collaborations often have the best outcomes because conversations among those with diverse experiences, varied institutional affiliations, and cross-discipline training bring breadth and depth of perspective. The Stories of Southern Oregon project was a good example of how libraries, museums, and academics can work together to surface important historical content, build community, and strengthen relationships. Thanks to a 2017 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Common Heritage program, Southern Oregon University faculty partnered with the Eagle Point and Ruch branches of the Jackson County Library District and local museums to collect stories and images of heritage work-life like logging, mining, farming, and ranching. Memories of a different time are very much alive in the rural towns of Jackson and Josephine counties, and public libraries and museums are central to the collective heritage of our small communities. This article describes the Stories of Southern Oregon project and how public libraries in Ruch and Eagle Point engaged their communities to bring history to life, and make a real difference to those they serve every day.
Battistella, M. F.,
Stories of Southern Oregon = Communities + Libraries + Museums + University.
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