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Silverton Project’s oral history

Broken Hill City Library will be holding an informal gathering for all those interested in the history of Broken Hill and Silverton, and in particular oral histories.

Coming off the back of a workshop that happened earlier in the year, this get-together will be held at the library on Thursday November 24 from 10am with local historian Jeannette Thompson.

Ms Thompson, a writer of historical nonfiction, is a former local of Broken Hill and has returned after 40 years away.

The training workshops held in June trained about 15 people in recording oral history and were a catalyst for Ms Thompson to secure some funding to attend the National Oral History Conference in Launceston, Tasmania.

During the conference she attended a workshop on audio walks, a unique way of experiencing the history of a location by using an app on a mobile phone.

Using GPS technology, the app is able to determine a person’s location and then replay stories and sounds that are attached to the landscape.

Ms Thompson said it could be just the soundscape of people working, trams, dogs, horses or whatever ambient sounds go along with those landscapes.

“The program is called sound trails and was developed by a former journalist.

“As you move through various geographical locations different sounds are played through your phone.

“That might be something that happened in that place at that time, or it might be a short oral history from someone telling a story about that place as you move through.

“The training was all about how you put those apps together, so at the gathering at the library I am going to go over some of the highlights of the conference that I attended and demonstrate how to put these apps together as I have access to the design part.

“I can show people how the sound designers put together these programs to kick in when you walk through certain areas.

“This is an opportunity for people to come together. There won’t be any skills workshops or training, so people don’t need to be daunted if they have just come along out of curiosity.

“It’s really just to show them what people are doing these days with technology and sound and how you could use little snippets of oral history.

“I’ll just be showing how it’s done and if they just want to come along and have a cup of tea and a chat about Silverton, they are most welcome to attend as we are trying to find people that have memories or that have stories to tell about their interaction with Silverton so that I can build up a sort of resource,” said Ms Thompson.

The Silverton Project is supported by the NSW government through Create NSW.

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