Two Years of Histories in Cambodia

January 2018 marked the second anniversary of the Cambodian Oral History Project. We are gratified to report some of the new achievements made possible by all those who have contributed in so many ways–as peer leaders, project assistants, volunteers, transcribers, translators, and as interns. Thanks especially to those willing to share their stories. In addition to the support of the BYU Humanities Center a BYU Mentoring Environment Grant (MEG), we have received a generous financial support from several anonymous donors.

We are set to surpass 1000 interviews early this year, but we have just begun! With the continued support of benefactors in and out of the University, we are poised for an even more productive two more years as we add more resources to the northern provinces, including near Battambang and Siem Reap. We also are reaching out to Cambodian refugee/immigrant communities in the U.S.

Benchmarks and accomplishments (since formal project launch in January 2016)

  • 800+ audio interviews in Cambodia
  • 25 video interviews in Cambodia
  • 3 US refugee video interviews
  • 6 student interns (5 BYU Cambodia RMs and 1 other RM)
  • Approximately 150 local Cambodian peer leaders
  • A local Cambodian project assistant
  • ~50 volunteers (BYU and outside)
  • Creation of a Youtube channel
  • Creation and development of project website
  • Launch of Facebook Page
  • Outreach to and involvement with BYU faculty and students interested in personal histories (e.g., folklore, family history, anthropology, and History)
  • Coordination with LDS Family History missionaries
  • Linking with Family Search

Current Project Foci and Aims

  • Continue with interview collection (2018 interview goal of reaching at least 1500 interviews)
  • Expand work of transcriptions and translations
  • Increase number of video interviews
  • Tagging for topics and search functions
  • Revamp of website to include search function
  • Adding a second intern in Northern Cambodia
  • Hiring of two more local Cambodia assistants to service the outlying provinces
  • More cooperation with US refugee/immigrant communities (SLC, Oakland, and Long Beach, CA)
  • Video and photo documentation of the projects

*Dana Scott Bourgerie is the director of Cambodia Oral History Project.