The mission of the Franco-American Oral History Archives is to develop, collect, archive, and publish oral history media on the personal, regional, ethnic, and political histories of Franco-Americans. The Archives aim to promote storytelling, family studies, community participation, historic preservation, and new media in order to broaden how we think about the past.
Though they are told among us, in our homes and communities, the stories of Franco-Americans often go unheard in public. In part due to barriers many Franco-Americans faced in politics and other social contexts in the United States, their accompanying histories are little known. Often omitted from school curriculum, Franco-American heritage, language, and experience become less available to generations of students who may be unaware of the cultural realities that surround them. The history of Franco-Americans is not complete without the inclusion of their voices.
The Franco-American Centre welcomes additions to the Archives. Help us by donating your voices and experiences so that they may be heard and shared by all. Please contact us with your questions on conducting interviews, recording them, or publishing them online.
Relevant oral histories found in the Northeast Archives
Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History of the Maine Folklife Center (Univ. of ME). Items with specific Franco-American content include (Note: 1. These resources are not available online unless otherwise noted; 2. Descriptions are taken from the Archive database)
- MF 004 Aroostook County Oral History Project (1971-1972). The project was conducted under the auspices of the Cary Library (Houlton, ME), which put the resulting collection into the public domain.
- MF 026 Islands and Bridges: Communities of Memory in Old Town, Maine/ French Island. A community-based oral history project focusing on the French Canadian immigrant community located on French Island, Old Town, ME (see also Nos Histoire de L’Ile at the Old Town Public Library).
- MF 029 “Our Life, Our Work” Lewiston Western Older Citizens Council/ Marcella Sorg & Stefan Duplessis. The “Notre Vie, Notre Travail” project is a series of bilingual interviews about Franco-American culture in the Lewiston, Maine area, particularly as it pertained to work.
- MF 052 “Remnants of Our Lives: Maine Women and Traditional Textile Arts” Project & Exhibit. Includes e.g. Item # 2701 Eva Labonte, of Lewiston, Maine, talking about Franco-American needle work, quilting, her heritage, early family life, etc.
- MF 108 Norman Soucie Photo Collection. 36 black and white photographs depict woods work and woods life in the region of Allagash and Saint John, Maine, ca. 1900-1930.
- MF 176 Barry H. Rodrigue Collection
- MF 007, the Canada Road Survey
Other relevant oral histories
- Voices of Biddeford from the Biddeford Cultural & Heritage Center