|NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
||September 25, 2009|
CAPTURING HISTORY: CALL FOR ORAL HISTORIES
FROM FORMER FEDERAL OAK RIDGE EMPLOYEES
NOROH initiative to collect historical knowledge from over 60 years
of federal operations in Oak Ridge.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – An initiative to collect historical knowledge from former federal employees at the Department of Energy''s (DOE) Oak Ridge facilities is now underway, seeking to capture oral histories from those involved in over 60 years of federal operations in the once Secret City.
The Networking Oak Ridge Oral History (NOROH) initiative enables former federal employees once involved in key programs on the Oak Ridge Reservation to be interviewed and their corporate knowledge recalled to create a resource for the next generation. Several thousand federal employees have served in Oak Ridge, dating back to the Manhattan Project as federal presence evolved through the Atomic Energy Commission and Energy Research & Development Administration to the present-day DOE. Their accomplishments have been of profound significance and the NOROH project allows these individuals to share this history as captured through oral interviews.
"Federal employees have been involved with a variety of programs through the years and there is valuable experience that is to the community''s benefit to capture," said Gerald Boyd, Manager of DOE''''s Oak Ridge Office. "This will be extremely helpful as we take knowledge from the past and apply it to our current and future programs in science, environmental cleanup, and nuclear fuel supply."
A unique feature of the oral history interviews is the ability to discuss programs on the Oak Ridge Reservation that have come and gone, such as the enrichment of uranium at the K-25 Site, planning of the Clinch River Breeder Reactor Project, or operation of the Y-12 Calutrons.
"At Oak Ridge, federal and contract employees have worked side-by-side for decades. In virtually every significant achievement important to our nation, Oak Ridge federal employees have played a key role," said Theodore D. Sherry, Manager of the National Nuclear Security Administration''''s Y-12 Site Office. "Y-12 has a long tradition of contributions to national security and those accomplishments and lessons learned are essential to capture for our nation."
While the topic of oral histories is not new to Oak Ridge, the NOROH initiative complements the existing work by the City of Oak Ridge through its Center for Oak Ridge Oral History (COROH). The Center works to collect oral histories of area residents and the scientific/technical community through the work of the Oak Ridge Public Library.
"We continue to experience success with the pride many Oak Ridgers demonstrate when offering their oral histories through COROH," said Tom Beehan, Mayor of Oak Ridge. "Learning from those who offer the unique history of Oak Ridge and its role supporting science, technology, and national security is also offered by the NOROH initiative and preserves this knowledge for current and future generations."
The NOROH initiative is undertaken as part of agreements DOE has entered consistent with requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act and other agreements as approved by the Tennessee Historic Preservation Office and National Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The oral histories will be documented and preserved by DOE''''s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) in Oak Ridge and provided to COROH for public release.
"The Office of Scientific and Technical Information has a long tradition of preserving documents for future generations, as we will do for oral interviews conducted by NOROH," said Dr. Walter Warnick, Director of OSTI. "This will be another addition to our immense collection which highlights the importance of Oak Ridge through the contributions of its federal workforce."
The process for scheduling oral history interviews in now underway. Former federal employees who worked on the Oak Ridge Reservation may schedule an appointment by contacting Katatra Vasquez, Cultural Resources Coordinator with DOE''''s Oak Ridge Office, by calling (865) 576-0835 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Interviews will be held at the Federal Building in Oak Ridge or, if an individual is not physically able to come to the Federal Building, special accommodations will be made to take the oral history at a mutually convenient location.
Photos available of September 17, 2009 NOROH poster signing with DOE/NNSA/OSTI/City of Oak Ridge leadership by calling the DOE Public Affairs Office at (865) 576-0885.
Senior Leadership with NOROH Poster - The Networking Oak Ridge Oral History (NOROH) initiative is seeking oral histories of former federal employees who worked on the Oak Ridge Reservation from the Manhattan Project to present. Supporting this initiative are (left to right): Theodore Sherry, NNSA Y-12 Site Office Manager; Tom Beehan, Mayor of the City of Oak Ridge; Dr. Walter Warnick, Director of DOE''s Office of Scientific and Technical Information; and Gerald Boyd, Manager of DOE''s Oak Ridge Office.
Signing of NOROH Poster - To launch the Networking Oak Ridge Oral History (NOROH) initiative, Gerald Boyd, Manager of DOE''s Oak Ridge Office, signs a poster of support along with (left to right) Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, Office of Scientific and Technical Information Director Dr. Walter Warnick and National Nuclear Security Administration Y-12 Site Office Manager Theodore Sherry. The commitment by all four entities highlights that by working together another venue is now available to capture the historical contributions of Oak Ridge, as will be preserved through the oral histories of former federal employees.