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Oral Histories

Oral Histories

Oral histories are the recording of memories of people’s unique life experiences. Often the only way to find out about the past is to ask someone who knows about it!

Claremont Museum has a collection of more than 140 oral histories of people associated with Claremont. To understand an event or a place it is important not just to have the facts – but also to understand the thoughts, feelings, hopes and fears that surround the event.

Oral history can create a record or supplement existing knowledge. Oral histories bring the past alive. People can be much more interesting than documents. Personal and family stories not only assist a researcher to gather or verify information about an event, an organisation or place, they contribute to creating a picture of the past by documenting the lives and feelings of people and connecting public and private experiences.

Oral history preserves the past for now and for future generations through a two-way process in which a person shares memories with a trained interviewer who has carefully planned an interview. Our oral history collection covers a broad spectrum of life in the Freshwater Bay area from the end of the 19th century up to the present. Our oral histories include interviews with a diverse cross section of local community members, such as business owners, residents, Aboriginal people who lived in fringe camps in the Freshwater Bay area and people associated with the railway stations in the area. You can listen to some of our oral histories on the Collections WA website

If you have a story about the area, a local event or people or know someone who we should interview, please contact the Museum on 9258 4300 or via email to

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