Oral History Project

The Oklahoma Railway Museum is pleased to announce a new Oral History Project. According to the background which accompanies our mission statement, “…the museum will tell the stories of the people whose lives were changed by the railroads. From those who rode the railroad to a new life in a raw new territory, to those who worked the rails, there are many memories to be preserved. Those stories must be captured while the people who lived them can tell them.”

Video recordings will be made of interviews with current and former railroad employees–with special emphasis on the Oklahoma connection. Mr. William “Bill” Welge will conduct the interviews and make the recordings. Bill, who recently retired from the Oklahoma History Center, is a Certified Archivist. He is also the President of the Oklahoma City/County Historical Society. Bill is well experienced, having conducted oral history interviews with Native American tribal elders, oil field and timber industry workers, and a host of others. He promises to make the experience easy and pleasurable!

Interviews will be conducted either at the Oklahoma Railway Museum or the home of the interviewee. Bill limits interviews to about two hours. If more time is needed, a second session is scheduled. Video copies of the interviews will be kept at the Museum.

In the second phase of this project, we will be recording interviews with current and former Museum members—those who might not have been employed by the railroads but who have extensive and important information about the history of the Museum.

We are requesting that anyone willing to be interviewed (Please don’t be nervous: it’s easy!) to contact either Anne Murray Chilton (annem@oklahomarailwaymuseum.org) or Steve Kamm (stevek@oklahomarailwaymuseum. org). You may also nominate others who have extensive knowledge of Oklahoma railroads. The following information is required to set up an interview: your name, contact information (telephone/email), the name of the railroad(s) on which you worked, the date(s) of your service, and your job title(s). Please, please, avail yourself of this opportunity to be a video “star.” More importantly, your knowledge and experiences must be preserved for future generations!

Oral History Project

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