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Oral history collection gets a new life at the Peru Public Library

Posted by wlpo on July 15, 2014

Remember being a kid and hearing your grandparents and parents talk about the way things were? An oral history collection at the Peru Public Library gives you a chance to hear stories about farming in Bureau County, horse pulled buggies in La Salle and the Illinois and Michigan Canal.

Charm Ruhnke is the Peru Library Director. She says the interviews were recorded in 1975 and 1976 as part of an effort the by Starved Rock Library System.  One interview she finds particularly moving is with Celestino Manietti, a survivor of the Cherry Mine Disaster.  She says Manietti’s story about escaping the mine has her in tears.

The interviews have been available for more than 30 years but only recently were they professionally copied to CD’s after the old cassettes began to fall apart.

Each CD is available for checkout along with a transcript. Transcripts are also available at the library’s website.  You can learn more about the oral history collection by listening to an interview that’s up at the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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