Ongoing Community Oral History Project

Since January 15th this year, OHA’s Archives Team has been interviewing members of Syracuse’s (Asian) Indian community to collect oral histories of community members. 

Oral histories are interviews where the interviewee shares their memories and thoughts about their life and the past, which are preserved through writing, and video and audio technologies.

This project grew out of a conversation between OHA Archival Assistant Jordan Scott and her friend who wanted to record her father’s memories. Jordan suggested having her friend record an oral history, and keep for either personal use or house the recording with OHA. After further thought, Jordan thought it would be a good idea to make this a community-wide project, knowing that there are other aging members of the community, and that young adults who grew up in Onondaga County often move away.

The project has three goals. The first is to create a resource that future generations and researchers can use to understand how the Syracuse’s Indian community formed, its successes, and its hardships. The second is to preserve the memories of community members, including those who moved away but lived in Syracuse for a significant amount of time. The third is to improve OHA’s archives so that it is more reflective of the many past and present inhabitants of the county.

Currently, the project is going well and will continue until June 1st! 16 people have participated thus far, and the oral histories that have been transcribed will be available on May 1st through OHA’s Richard and Carolyn Wright Research Center. Once they become available please contact OHA’s Research Center, 315-428-1864 x325, or email

The Archives Team thanks all the participants; the Indian Community Cultural and Religious Center (ICRCC); Kairali, Kerala Association of Syracuse; and our intern Saanika Dhillon. This project couldn’t have happened without you!