Oral History as Care: Preserving Memories & Maintaining Stakeholder Relationships

  • Anna Boutin-Cooper Franklin & Marshall College
Keywords: oral history, oral histories, oral history best practices


This paper will outline a recent oral history project the author undertook with the artist Bill Hutson, currently the Jennie Brown Cook & Betsy Hess Cook Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The author will discuss the project’s impetus, process, and lessons learned. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which the project both intersected with and deviated from standard best practices in the field of oral history, in service of the project’s greater success.

This article has undergone a double-blind peer review process.

Author Biography

Anna Boutin-Cooper, Franklin & Marshall College

Anna Boutin-Cooper is the Research & Visual Arts Librarian at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In her position, she liaises with several academic departments, and she is the curator for both the zine and artists’ book collections at the College. She holds her MLIS from Simmons University, and a BA in Theatre Studies from Emmanuel College.


The author would like to express her sincerest thanks to Brianna Gormly, Lindsay Marino, Jenn Buch, Scott Vine, and Amy Moorefield, for their involvement in and support of the project. Finally, a special thank you to Bill Hutson, for allowing his life’s story to be documented in his own words, and for allowing the author to share the story of this project.

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