Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lost Video Joins Cecil's Lost Sounds

The Society launched a new collections initiative aimed at capturing largely forgotten recordings from the County’s past at the end of 2004. We got the idea from the National Public Radio after hearing a broadcast called Lost and Found Sound. When our request first went out for help in capturing these materials, the Cecil Whig’s Jane Bellmyer answered the call, finding four old audio tapes from WSER, an Elkton AM radio station, which was a full service broadcaster in that era when local DJs hosted most of the shows and produced the news, sports, and advertising. Jane was the news director at the station from 1980 to 1988. Since the time when she helped us kick off this collection, we’ve added other items and you may want to read the press release on the subject..

Jane occasionally comes in with some additions, but a month or two ago she brought in some 8mm home video of the launching of a boat at Wiley Manufacturing, a Port Deposit company that closed several decades ago, and some family home footage. We are in the process of getting those digitized so these lost moving images will be available to researchers. We’ll also add some samples to the web site so you will know that we have them available.

Additionally, we acquired two new items for our oral history collection this past week. Kara Green, our project coordinator, interviewed 94-year-old retired school teacher, Lilian Watkins and 84- year-old Karl Feucht, a retired farmer. We’ll get some samples of those up online shortly. Both are very insightful pieces.

Please keep us in mind if you have some audio or video from a long ago parade, sports-event or some other local public activity, for we would like to add those to the collection. In this new information era, sounds and video are going to be important additions to research collections as print media becomes less important.

This is just one of many new initiatives being undertaken by the Historical Society of Cecil County to collect and chronicle unique aspects of our past. It joins other innovative program such as the Cecil County Veteran's Oral History Project.


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