Our Project

The North Adams Oral History Project is a product of Oral History: Theory, Methods, and Practice (HIST 371), a course offered at Williams College in the spring of 2016. Under the instruction of Professor Annie Valk, five students conducted oral history interviews to better understand the history of North Adams, Massachusetts, a small city that sits next to our college town in the northern Berkshires. This website includes excerpts of a dozen interviews that explore the history of industry and community life in North Adams. We have quoted, lightly edited, and contextualized the interviews to present residents’ perspectives on the city’s recent history and its prospects for the future.  A pdf version of North Adams Memories is available here.

Many thanks to the individuals and organizations who have gathered and saved materials we used in our research, especially the North Adams Historical Society, the North Adams Public Library, Williams College’s Sawyer Library, and MCLA’s Freel Library, and local historians Paul Marino and Joe Manning. We also thank the people who shared their memories and personal stories; their interviews will be added to the archives maintained by the Williams College special collections library.

We welcome your comments and feedback.

By: Peter Hale, Tobias McCarthy, Joshua Morrison, Abigail Rampone, and Sofia Smith