The Prange Collection, in collaboration with the University of Maryland Department of History, established the Marlene J. Mayo Oral History Internship to process the 100 oral histories in the Mayo Collection. The internship was first offered in Spring semester 2014. Josef Danczuk, a UMD undergraduate double-majoring in History and Government & Politics, was the first intern. Below Josef reflects on his experience.
“As the Marlene J. Mayo Oral Histories Intern for this past spring semester, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with 100 oral histories. These oral histories are interviews conducted by Professor Emerita Marlene Mayo with Americans who were involved in the Allied Occupation of Japan. My role was to secure releases for these interviews from the interviewees or their heirs so that the oral histories could be available for researchers, scholars and the general public.”
“At the start of my time in the Prange Collection, there were 95 oral histories that did not yet have releases. By the end of the semester, I was able to secure 18 releases and have contacted or retrieved contact information for another 30 oral histories. During my time, I had an incredible opportunity to correspond with some very interesting individuals and their families. Almost every family I contacted requested a copy of the actual oral history so that they could learn more about what their family member had done so many decades ago. I learned a lot from researching and working with these oral histories and discovering more about the Americans involved in the Occupation. It was a great experience and truly opened my mind up to a region and period of history that I have not had experience in before. I am thankful for the Prange Collection Staff, Professor Mayo and the History Department for granting me this wonderful opportunity. ”
The internship will be offered again in Fall 2014 to continue the work of securing releases for these valuable oral histories.
For more information about the Marlene J. Mayo Oral Histories, see this blog post.