Posts Tagged ‘anthropology’
The Toronto Star‘s Katie Daubs has a nice feature about an oral history project in Toronto’s Harbord Village neighbourhood.
They are details you no longer see: the large fish that flopped out of the delivery truck onto Harbord St. in the 1960s. The ducks that went to their deaths biting at butchers in a Baldwin St. poultry shop. The way you could gain childhood prestige in the 1940s if your chestnut smashed another chestnut in battle.
Walking through Harbord Village, you can now listen to the rich local history, as told by the people who lived here between 1930 and 1980. Their voices live in plaques, called “StoryPosts,” distilled from more than 150 hours of interviews.
Arranged by theme, the 24 posts cover topics lighthearted and serious, including crowded homes, racism and integration, and the magic of the front porch in the era before air conditioning. Scan the barcode with a smartphone, go back in time.
The project is the work of the Harbord Village Residents’ Association, a group that realized how important its social history was when beloved friend and neighbour Cyril Greenland was sick a few years ago.
“We thought, we’re going to lose so much of our past knowledge when he dies,” says Colin Furness, noting that Greenland was too sick to interview before his death in 2012. “We felt awful about it, and the one legacy is that we did all the rest of this in recognition that there are lot more Cyrils out there, and we really want to preserve what we can.”