"Voices of Wilmette: An Oral History Project" is a collaborative project to collect stories from the Wilmette community during the village's sesquicentennial. The purpose of this project is to preserve the memories and experiences of individuals who are connected to Wilmette, including current and former residents, business owners, school teachers, and others familiar with the community. As partners, Wilmette Public Library and the Wilmette Historical Museum will record, collect, and archive these recordings to provide future generations an opportunity to explore local history. The goal is to hear from a wide variety of people in our 150th year. We hope that you can participate by being part of an interview or by suggesting someone who you think would be a great interviewee.
How do I participate?
Use a "Voices of Wilmette" Oral History Kit to conduct your oral history interview. Each kit includes a digital recorder, a booklet with tips on interviewing, and release form. Kits are available to use on-site at the Library or Museum by appointment, or to check out at the Library and use at home. If you don't have someone who can interview you, but you'd like to share your story, the library or museum can arrange for someone to interview you.
Depending on the topic and the age of the person, interviews can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as an hour or more. The interview can be about a very narrow topic (one event, for example) or about a larger topic (an older person's life experiences, a Wilmette business or career, immigrating from another country, community service and organizing, experiences at school, or the pandemic, for example).
Who can participate?
Anyone with a connection to Wilmette!
- Current, former, and new residents
- Wilmette business owners
- Those who work or worked in Wilmette
- Current or former teachers and students in Wilmette
- Members of Wilmette clubs, organizations, or congregations
- Anyone with a story to tell about Wilmette
Oral Histories are a unique way to learn about history from the people who experienced it.