Oral History Project
APA-HiP started the first oral history project documenting the achievements and contributions of Asian Pacific-Islander Americans in the Greater Rochester area in the summer of 2003. We had a team of seven talented college interns who volunteered their time and conducted over 30 oral interviews with community members from the Greater Rochester area. When print documentation of a community is scattered, scarce or non-existent, oral histories are invaluable. You can be of help in filling in the missing gaps in our region's history by referring interview subjects to the Asian Pacific-Islander American History Project of Greater Rochester. The interview subjects you recommend don't have to be "important" people, just anyone of Asian/Pacific Islander descent who has been in this area for some time and has an interest in sharing their family stories with the community. As a key member of our local community, you have a unique story to tell about your experiences as an Asian Pacific-Islander American in this area. Although the first Asian Americans settled in Rochester in the 1870's, our contributions locally have been largely unrecognized and undocumented. We want to record your personal and family stories for future generations!
Please contact us if you are interested in sharing your story.
The oral history project and training sessions are led by APA-HiP board member, Greta Niu. With a doctorate in English from Duke University, she received her training in oral history by working with the historians of the project "Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Voices in the Jim Crow South" of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. For two years she was a research coordinator, a transcriber of oral histories, an interviewer, and a participant in a summer seminar. Over 1,100 interviews were collected from 10 different sites. "Behind the Veil" received funding from the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) for several years. The book "Remembering Jim Crow" was written by the main researchers and published in 2001. Numerous other books, dissertations, and articles are expected to arise from this collection, housed in the John Hope Franklin Center of Duke University Library.