Oral History Collection (1972-2002)

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An assortment of tapes from the collection.
An assortment of tapes from the collection.

Collection Facts


Historical Context

Compact cassette tapes hit the American consumer market around 1969. This collection began to form shortly after that on June 25th 1972 with a recording of Ella A.Hallock (1885-1985), the last descendant of the Hallock family to live in the Hallock Homestead. Some of the recordings, like the tape that was just described, predates the establishment of the Hallockville Museum Farm. Oral histories of local and long time residents continued throughout the 1970s and the 1980s thanks to John Eilertsen, a trained folklorist who went on to become the director of what was then called the Hallockville Museum Farm and Folklife Center. 

The recording of residents continued in the 1990s and early 2000s with the assistance of Eilertsen, Steve Roman, Vicky Fleming and others and captured oral histories of other Hallock family members, local and long time residents who grew up around Northville and Sound Avenue. Many of these people are descendants of families who farmed the land on the North Fork of Long Island for hundreds of years. Those family names include: Wells, Luce, Young, Downs, Aldrich, Hudson, and of course, Hallock.

Scope of Collection

This collection contains taped interviews of Suffolk County residents that date from 1972 to 2002. The people found on these recordings discuss farm life, quilting, decoy carving and general life during the late 1890s and into the 1940s. Aside from longtime residents you can also hear people who are descended from Irish, Italian, Polish, Armenian, Turkish, and Ukrainian immigrants who came to Long Island during the early part of the 20th century. You can also hear former staff of the Hallockville Museum Farm. 

The recordings found here were digitized through Hallockville Museum Farm’s partnership with LILRC’s Accessing Archives Program in March and April of 2023 as well as NYU’s Regional Media Legacies Project in 2021.