We Made Do - Recalling the Great Depression

Reviewed by Jimmy D. Fancher. This website contains the oral histories about American life during the Great Depression. It is an ongoing project by students at Mooresville High School in Mooresville, Indiana. The students interviewed individuals at the Mooresville Senior Citizen Center and transcribed their oral stories about their experiences during the Great Depression in the 1930s. In addition to the oral history transcripts, the website contains period photographs, price lists for the 1930s, and the transcripts of e-mailed contributions. Links to other websites for additional resources about the Great Depression, oral history techniques, and classroom ideas and activities are also provided.

Since the information has been transcribed from actual interviews, it is assumed that the information is reliable. One must take in consideration that the interviewees are sharing their memories, so the information may be affected by memory or emotion. The sponsor, Don Adams, explains the procedure for gathering the website's information. A hyperlink to e-mail Mr. Adams is provided for any questions or comments, which is a nice feature since little information is given about him or his qualifications.

The website contains no advertising, which is refreshing. The stories seemed to be presented in a straightforward manner, so the only bias would probably be contained within the stories. The links all worked on my visit to the website and there is a message that the website was last updated on April 3, 2001.

The stories on the website cover the interviewees' memories of life during the 1930s. I liked how the website stuck to this main topic. The pictures also supported the stories that are presented. I would like to see more pictures though. It would have been beneficial if some photographs of the storytellers and interviewers could have been added, although the stories are able to stand on their own. This website is a excellent for anyone interested in American history, as well as for storytellers that are looking for story ideas. Students that are interested in taking part in an oral history endeavor could use this website as a guide to creating their own project. This is a very appealing website.