Oral history is the act of preserving history by interviewing people about their lives: both extraordinary events and everyday occurrences. From the days of Homer, storytelling has been an important part of Greek culture. Oral history is a continuation of this tradition, one that allows our stories to become a conscious addition to the historical record. Recording your oral history is a contribution that you control in order to preserve, recollect, and reflect on life. Themes sometimes include family, education, careers, celebrations, events, and moments of everyday living by everyday people.
At the Museum our goal is to preserve the history of the Greek experience in America. People of Greek descent, their spouses, relatives and all those connected to the Greek experience are invited to tell their stories. The NHM Oral History Project is guided by the Museum’s mission of collecting and preserving the stories of the Greek American experience in consideration of the Oral History Association listed guidelines and best practices in the field. Oral history recordings are made available through the NHM Collections & Archives to researchers, historians, genealogists, educators, and students.
For more information on our interview process, please review our What to Expect Guide for more information on the interview process. If you are ready to schedule an interview, fill out our Interview Request Form and an NHM staff member will be in touch as soon as possible.
The Oral History Project has been generously sponsored by Frank S. Kamberos
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Hellenic American Leadership Council
National Hellenic Society
For more information or to schedule a free appointment, please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-655-1234 x23
Quotes from a few of our oral history interviews:
“And within a short time we came to America, to (a) strange country with different customs, traditions, different language that was the most important. A language without rules of pronunciation and that was very hard.”
– Effie Gekas on emigrating from Greece to America
“…life here is better. If you want to work, you can work. In Greece it was hard. No jobs…Here is better.”
– William Kakavas on the difference between life in America and life in Greece
“I’m kind of glad they did because I’m a better person for it, and I don’t begrudge it now, but growing up, I resented it to no end because I wasn’t like other kids…”
–Jayne Terovolas on her parents determination to preserve their Greek heritage