Building on earlier efforts of the Chinese Historical Society of Greater San Diego and Baja California (CHS), the San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum (SDCHM) conducts and records oral history interviews on subjects of relevance and interest of the local Chinese community.
To provide some background on earlier project phases, it was in the mid-1980’s, when the CHS, with encouragement and support from the San Diego Historical Society (d.b.a. San Diego History Center), formalized a program under the title "San Diego Chinese American Oral History Project." This program was conceived to record the stories of elders who had living memories of San Diego’s historic Chinatown. An impressive number of community members participated in this early phase, whether as project narrators or interviewers. The transcripts and audio recordings produced were shared with the San Diego History Center, where they were digitized to form part of that institution’s Oral History Collection.
In the summer of 2019, with support from California Humanities (through its Humanities for All Quick Grant program) and also from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors (through its Community Enhancement Program), the SDCHM reactivated its oral history project, under the title "Jiātíng gùshì" (family stories), holding oral history interview workshops with community members throughout 2019.
We continue to hold oral history interview workshops at the Museum and are currently in the process of scheduling with community members for 2020-2021. Stay tuned for updates!
Please see the video bank below to view edited sequences prepared from footage recorded during past interview workshops:
Thanks to support from the County of San Diego, the Museum is able to offer internships (with a small stipend) to local university students. If you have basic knowledge of digital video editing processes, perhaps studying anthropology, ethnic studies, communications, or visual/media arts, we’d love to enlist your help preparing a repository of video recordings that will be a central part of the oral history project at the Museum.
The Museum was pleased to have the opportunity to interview community member (and one of the Museum's founders), Tom Hom, on September 28, 2019. Oral History Project Media Intern (2019-2020), Rhiannon Koh produced this narrative sequence based on footage of Mr. Hom's interview
On November 10, 2019, the SDCHM welcomed community member (and Docent for our Asian Pacific Historic District walking tour), Amie Lee Garapich, who participated in an oral history interview workshop that morning. Rhiannon Koh (Oral History Project Media Intern, 2019-2020) developed this narrative sequence using footage from the 11/10 interview.