Sign Up to Record Your Peace Corps Oral History

 

Each person’s Peace Corps story is unique and valuable to help us understand who we are as individuals and how our individual experiences are integral parts of the 60-year Peace Corps legacy. The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Archives Project (OHAP), an NPCA affiliate, preserves the Peace Corps experience by conducting in-depth oral history interviews of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers (EPCVs), Peace Corps staff and host country counterparts. RPCV interviews follow each person’s path, including their motivation to join the Peace Corps, what on-boarding and training was like, what they did during their Peace Corps service, what their cultural-cultural experiences were, and their reflections on the impact Peace Corps service had on them, the communities in which they served, and increasing Americans’ understanding of the world.

Visit the OHAP website for more information and sign up here if you’d like to be interviewed by a trained RPCV interviewer using Zoom. Interviews usually take between 1 and 2 hours. Interviews are archived at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History and made easily accessible to researchers and others worldwide.

Please contact Evelyn Ganzglass evelyn@ohap.org if you have any questions or are interested in supporting the project in other ways.

OralHistoryProject@peacecorpsconnect.org

Evelyn Ganzglass (Somalia 1966-68) is coordinator of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Archives Project, a Board Director of NPCA and a member of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Marty, served in Somalia 1966-68. Evelyn retired in 2018 after a 40 -year career in domestic and international workforce development policy and practice. She lives in Washington, D.C. where she volunteers as co-director of an Interfaith Refugee Resettlement Initiative in Montgomery County that is assisting Afghan refugee families.

9 Comments

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    • https://www.peacecorpsoralhistory.org/cpages/home

      This is a very important project. It was begun about 22 years ago by Robert Klein, Ghana I. He traveled the country interviewing RPCV with the tap reording technology which was all that was available in those days. Bo also negotiated with the JFK Library to archive the recording, which they did.

      Bob died in 2013, Pat Wand RPCV who was also a University Librarian Emerita & adjunct professor, American University, Washington DC continued Bob’s work with RPCV Phyllis Noble. Pat Wand was helped to start the Peace Corps Community ARchives at American University, in Bob’s honor.

      When Phyllis was no longer able to continue, Evelyn Ganzglass picked up the work. Arrangements were made to work with the Oral History Project at the University of Kentucky to continue the RPCV Oral History project. Now, the team has modern techniques to record the oral history inteviews. The interviews do not need to be done in person.

      All of this Third Goal Work has been done by RPCVs working together. I think it is a great project. Together with the work of Marian Haley Beil and John Coyne, it is why there is a Peace Corps History. To recognize the work of these people is not to irgnore all the other great work done by RPCVs, the alumni groups, Alana de Joseph, and so many others.

  • Fantastic. The University of Kentucky was where India 45 trained, not one summer, but two (1966 and 1967). Full circle for me. I will pass this along. Aloha, Jane

    • Jane Albritto is a RPCV who made a very special contribution to Peace Corps History, https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/?s=Jane+Albritton

      “Albritton (India 1967-69)
      Sep 06 2012

      The winner of the Peace Corps Collection Award is Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) senior editor of four books of essays by RPCVs published by Travelers’ Tales/Solas House. The books are: One Hand Does Not Catch a Buffalo — Volume One, Africa, Edited by Aaron Barlow (Togo 1988-90) Gather The Fruit One By One — Volume Two, Americas–Edited by Pat Alter (Paraguay 1970-72) and Bernie Alter (India 1967-69) A Small Key Opens Big Doors — Volume Three, The Heart of Eurasia–Edited by Jay Chen (Kazakhstan 2005-08) Even The Smallest Crab Has Teeth — Volume Four, Asia & The Pacific, Edited by Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) Jane Albritton undertook a herculean task: to gather enough Peace Corps personal experience essays to fill a multi-volume anthology. After four years of intense work, she completed the task in 2011 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps’ inception.. .

  • Hello fellow RPCVs.
    I was one of those Robert Klein interviewed and videotaped decades ago. He was, I recall, professional, dedicated and a pleasure to talk with. I’m sorry he is no longer with us but I’m happy to learn from the (above) followup by Joanne Roll that his pioneering legacy was continued by Pat Wand and Phyllis Noble.
    Now Jane Albritton has joined (apologies for missing any earlier award announcement) this collection of behind-the-scene heroines of the ongoing Peace Corps saga. I am grateful to all of you who left inspiration and hope in your wake. You bestow recognition, for a moment at least, on those who recognize that peaceful efforts on behalf of life on Earth are the best way to build a better future for us all.
    Thank you.

  • Looking back, and I have told my story before, about 1960 as an intern at WGBH-TV meeting JFK twice, once seeking the Democratic Party nomination and the second time AS the nominee, both when he was the guest on Louis Lyons’ (Nieman Journalism Foundation Curator, Harvard) news program on which I was the assistant. On one (I think the first) Lyons spoke about Hubert Humphreys’ idea (of what would be called the Peace Corps, then unnamed as something similar to the American Friends Service Committee program abroad). The then Senator John Kennedy replied in his best almost happy/ smart manner that it was a good idea (saying good ideas from another candidate were GOOD ideas) and that “When I am president, I will start such a program” (or words pretty close to that, and ending with his handsome head cocked to the side and smiling — you know like the cat that ate the cream). I was 23 then and it thrilled me, not just the idea for beginning such an organization but as much for the joyful intelligence and daring-do in a politician. As a Peace Corps Volunteer heading later that very day on a prop, 2 engine airplane to Ghana in late August 1961 in the White House, I met PRESIDENT Kennedy both in the Rose Garden and in the Oval Office along with the other volunteers from early Peace Corps groups –Columbia, Tanganyika, Ghana. There were 50 of us in Ghana One.

  • Peru….Music…recording

    Would anyone know about a team, possible from the USA, that was in Peru recording the music valley by valley, villages by village before the influence of transistor radios bastardized the native music. When I lived in Peru it was impossible to purchase the music I heard because in the recording studios instruments were added that normally would not be played by the local people. As I recall the groups used only three principals instruments. The period that I’m referencing was around 1962/1963 till – ?. I’m also referencing the area from the Alto Plano down to around Quillabamba. If you know of this music please let me know & how to obtain this music. Thanks, T H Little

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