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In Your Own Words is a program to collect the region's oral history using the recording tools at the Stanley Milner Library. Once a week in the evening, citizens will be openly invited to the EPL Stanley Milner Makerspace to record a story or interview at one of the makerspace's reserved vocal studio space. Audio will be recorded onto Soundcloud, a cloud-based audio sharing site where it can be accessed by the general public.

Listen here to what we have collected so far.

Email us at to learn how you can help or just stop by on Wednesday evenings in March and April to the EPL Stanley Milner Makerspace.

Timeframe: Spring 2015 - The program will run for two months, March to April. The first session is Wednesday, March 4 5-8 p.m.

Logistics: In Your Own Words will be available for any citizen. On Wednesday evening each week for the two month pilot, a volunteer supplied by Open Edmonton will be available at the Makerspace to facilitate the recording sessions. The hours will be 5-8 p.m. Individual sessions will be limited to 10 minutes. At the beginning of the session, participants will sign in, giving their name, additional contact information if they would like, and they will sign a form affirming that they will allow their story to be stored and made public. Individual sessions and two-person interviews will be encouraged. Participants will also mark a point on a digital map before or after their session if their story is location-based. The audio will be recorded directly onto SoundCloud, a cloud-based audio sharing site with an attractive and intuitive user interface.

Each week will have a theme, although stories collected that week do not exclusively need to be associated with the theme. Open Edmonton believes that themes will motivate participants to come on particular weeks as opposed to procrastination. Possible themes include war/military, arts/theater, love, winter, LGBTQ (to continue the work of Edmonton Queer History), sports, etc.

Open Edmonton will also accept home-made recordings of oral history. We will refer home-based participants to the U.S. program StoryCorps' well-produced video tutorials for best practice. We will also lend voice recorders to interested participants with a passion for collecting stories. These individuals will be key to the success of the program!

Click this link for an excellent primer on how to do your own oral history interview.

Mission: Open Edmonton's goal is to use technology to increase the vibrancy of the Edmonton region. As the city grows and matures, it is important to capture the stories of the city. While media focuses often on large events, we believe that there are many relatively smaller stories that speak to the character of the city and deserve to be captured in the words and voices of those who lived them. This project uses low-cost cloud storage and high-quality digital recording equipment that is not available to all citizens in the region, and we are glad to offer this service to lower the barriers to participation in an oral history project.

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