Oral History Project – Coming to you in text form!

The Marshall Public Library, located in Marshall, Illinois, possesses a collection of more than 230 oral history interviews from local residents which they made available online for listening. These interviews were gathered through a combination of efforts from the Friends of Marshall Public Library, students from Marshall Public High School, Dan Crews (a volunteer from the Illinois State Historical Society), and kind community members. The subjects encompass broad topics such as day-to-day life, World War II, to municipal issues such as local businesses and the development of the Main Street program. Some of the interviews had been transcribed already, but the librarians at Marshall Public Library realized that there would be a great benefit to having transcriptions for all the interviews. Enter the Cataloging Maintenance Center (CMC)!


CMC staff have been listening to and transcribing these interviews starting in June 2019. To date, they have completed 30 interviews, totaling approximately 22 hours of transcription. With more than 200 interviews totaling over 100 hours waiting to be transcribed, the CMC is looking forward to hearing about even more adventures and stories that highlight the history of Marshall, Illinois.


Marshall Public Library Director Alyson Thompson said, “We love our collection but it was missing an important component – transcriptions coupled with searchable metadata! You are making this dream of ours a reality and we can’t thank you enough.”

Funded by the Illinois State Library and operated by Illinois Heartland Library System, the CMC helps libraries and LLSAPs throughout all three Illinois library systems catalog special projects and upgrade bibliographic records, often at no charge. The CMC also provides training to catalogers, metadata consultation, database cleanup, and other services.


To see if your library's or LLSAP's project qualifies for free help by the CMC and to learn more about what the CMC can offer, visit the Cataloging Maintenance Center webpage, https://www.illinoisheartland.org/cmc, or call (618) 656-3216 ext. 503.