Week of 4/7

This week was a little tricky to navigate, and I did encounter a bit of a road block in terms of the progress of my research. Monday went well, as I got to interview Karen Watkins from Colonial Gardens over the phone and she provided me with great insight that is both helpful and interesting to my current interviews. However, Tuesday was a huge failure, in terms of what I had intended to retrieve from another phone interview with one of the owners from a recently closed B&B, The Boxwood Inn. When I called during our confirmed time, my subject was unable to accommodate my questions, as he had “forgotten” about our interview and in combination with lots of miscommunication, I realized very quickly that this attempt to conduct interview would not be successful. This set me off into a bit of a panic, just because I was a so set on having his oral history included in my project because he would have been able to provide some really great insight into the decline of the B&B business in Williamsburg and I had hoped that his story would have been really interesting in that way. Kate was really encouraging, despite this setback, and encouraged me to look forward to getting more phone interviews done and hopefully getting the Keanes’s oral history in the next week (although that is still TBD). Tomorrow, I have a phone interview scheduled with Denise Fleck from the Applewood B&B, which I hope will be just as successful as my past interviews and maybe even yield  potential for a more formal oral history.

I think the important thing to focus on, as Kate had told me, is that I still have options for oral history candidates and in combination with all of the data I have so far, I should still be able to complete my assignment and write a solid report for the WDP archive. Even if there’s just one oral history that is formally recorded, indexed, and transcribed, all of the pieces of the puzzle should come together. I think the time crunch is also a major obstacle, as this week has been especially stressful for my schedule (I’ve been prepping for a dance performance tomorrow) so I really hope that everything works out and falls into place.

1 Response to “Week of 4/7”


  1. 1 mal2013 April 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    It’s disappointing when you’ve put a lot of effort into organizing an interview and the interviewee is not as engaged with the project as you hoped. It seems like you have some good options for candidates for conducting an oral history. You can also draw on your other sources of information, for example, your TripAdvisor data and the Williamsburg B&B network to identify new potential interviewees.

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The Williamsburg Documentary Project (WDP) strives to collect and preserve the rich past of Williamsburg, Virginia. By conducting oral history interviews, building physical and digital archives, and creating online exhibits, the WDP interprets Williamsburg’s recent past. The WDP works towards developing a better understanding of Williamsburg by bringing together individuals, local groups, Colonial Williamsburg, and the College of William & Mary.

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