“I’m wide awake on memories. These memories can’t wait.”
--Talking Heads, 1979
As I think about oral history and the work of The Citadel Oral History Program, these final lines from "Memories Can't Wait" run through my head. As interviewers, we feel a pressing urgency to record the stories of people while they are healthy and their memories fresh. As interviewees, we feel the need to discipline our memories in such a way that will bring order to our complicated pasts. Some memories may even haunt us. They demand our attention and insist on explanation, especially those that defy our self-perceptions. There’s a social urgency to our memories as well. The universality of stories can link us together across lines of difference. And in that potential lies the possibility of understanding and collective action.
All of these impulses are reflected in our work over the past seven years. The scholars, students, and activists affiliated with The Citadel Oral History Program are joined by the belief that collecting memories is good for individuals and good for community.
This website showcases audio recordings and transcriptions from some of the more than two hundred interviews we have conducted with a wide range of area residents. It serves as a news site to keep you up to date on our recent programs, and it provides resources to assist you in your own oral history projects. Lastly and most importantly, this website is as invitation. We invite you to help shape our continuing efforts to document the rich history and culture of the South Carolina Lowcountry. Please be in touch.
--Kerry Taylor, Coordinator