It's the University of Nipissing's Institute for Community Studies and Oral History, located in Northeastern Ontario.
Since 2005, the university has sent students out in the summer time to take stories about people and places in Northern Ontario, then write and publish them in the winter. Now, they have quite a few done, and they are available to the public.
They concentrated on four areas of study, and they were Family Rituals; Early Families; North Bay Association for Community Living; and the History of the Head, Clara, and Maria Townships in the Upper Ottawa River Valley.
The Family Rituals examined how local communities and family rituals were formed, and their interaction with community organizations such as schools, churches, and sports from 1920 to 1960.
As this project is still on-going, people are still being interviewed in Corbeil, Astorville, Bonfield, and Mattawa. Forty oral histories interviews will be conducted, and newspapers and other local sources will be consulted.
Research on the Early Families began in 2006, and five students conducted oral interviews under the guidance of Helen Vaillancourt of the Nipissing Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.
So far, five families — the William Milne; the Patrick M. Bourke; the John William Deegan; the John W. Richardon; and the Robert Rankin — have been completed.
In 2004, the North Bay and District Association for Community Living (NBDACL) celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.
In partnership with the university, a student researched the association by collecting newspaper stories and looked at minutes and conducted oral histories with members of the association.
Over twenty interviews have been conducted (excerpts of the interviews are on the website at http://www.nipissingu.ca/ICSOH/currentprojects_ACL.html, and the book was published. The book is available from the institute.
The final area they examined are the townships of Head, Clara, and Maria in the Upper Ottawa River Valley of Ontario.
The construction of a hydro (power) dam at the local rapids is a key event in recording this history because people from the villages of Mackay and Stonecliffe were flooded, and they had to move inland to resettle.
The researchers goal is to produce a series of booklets on the area by conducting oral interviews with people between Mattawa and Rapides des Jochims, as this area was also the center of logging in the 19th century.
Françoise Noël, Professor of History, is in charge of the project, and all the information will be housed in the archives of the University of Nipissing.
If you have any information which you would like to share with her, she may be contacted at the university by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
if you are interested in visiting the website, it is located at http://www.nipissingu.ca/ICSOH/index_termsofreference.html.
Source Information: Canadian Connections, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2009.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.
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