Reaching new audiences and expanding partnerships within the community are core to the mission of the Hoboken Historical Museum.
[photo: Education Curator Robin Westervelt (far right) works with Jubilee Center Teen Coordinator Vanessa Falco (far left) and students (left to right) Ashley Segarra, Grendaly Lopez, Mariah Fabian, Michele Santiago, and Asharah Simpson.]
The Jubilee Center
This spring, our Education Curator conducted an Oral History program with teens from the Jubilee Center. High school sophomores were introduced to the Hoboken Oral History Project through our chapbooks, and experienced the value of oral history as a primary resource for historical inquiry.
The Jubilee students learned how to conduct an oral history interview, practiced on each other, and then interviewed long-time members of the local community. These oral histories were recorded on digital audio recorders, after which the students composed written accounts of the interviewees’ life stories.
The chapbook, We Did Have Wonderful Times: Hoboken Girl Scouts and the Little House on Garden Street, has provided a wonderful narrative of the history of scouting in Hoboken, and has served as historical foundation for many of the Daisy and Brownie education programs at the Museum. Boy Scouts participate in programs relating to local architecture, as well as the American Indian Lore project. The Museum and the Scouts share an interest in local history and architecture, and these after-school programs are a great way for the two organizations to partner in teaching our younger residents about local lore.
Perhaps the greatest source for local oral history comes from senior citizens. To reach this audience, our Education Curator created a history program for adults, which is conducted as an out-service program (presented on-site at local senior centers). Items from the Museum’s collection, audio and video recordings, and stories from local history combine to create a forum in which seniors can share their own individual experiences from the Hoboken area, its local establishments, traditions and heritage.
These programs are in addition to the Museum’s core educational programming for elementary and secondary school groups, our summer camp sessions, the Boys and Girls Club of Hoboken, and biweekly Uptown Storytime program, which serve thousands of children each year.