Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1997-1998 index

Distributed November 5, 1997
Contact: Tracie Sweeney

`What Did You Do in the War, Grandma?'

Oral history participants will reunite to see latest chapter of project

Women who provided oral histories about Rhode Island during World War II will reunite with their interviewers - members of South Kingstown High School's Class of 1990 - for an introduction to the project's latest incarnation: an award-winning web site that has become a model for other intergenerational and school-community education projects. Their gathering on Thursday, Nov. 6, is open to media.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Participants in the 1989 oral history project, "What Did You Do in the War, Grandma?" - a collection of memories of Rhode Island women during World War II - will reunite Thursday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. to see the latest incarnation of the project: a newly redesigned site on the World Wide Web recently selected by Yahoo! as a "Pick of the Week."

The reception, hosted by Brown University's Scholarly Technology Group (STG), which created the web site, will be in the University Piano Lounge, 92 Thayer St. The STG presentation will include a guided tour of the "Grandma" site (, a sampling of the responses the site has generated from educators and other users, and a discussion of the project with the participants. The gathering is open to the media.

Originally published as a book and subsequently enhanced for the World Wide Web, the project nicely foreshadows a growing interest in intergenerational learning experiences, provides an excellent resource for studying the home front during World War II, and serves as a model for oral history projects and school-community interactions. The Nov. 6 reception is a unique opportunity to meet with organizers and participants in a successful educational project that contains a successful technology component, one that remains useful and inspirational nearly a decade later.

The interviewees will be reunited with the original interviewers from South Kingstown High School's Class of 1990, project organizer Linda Wood and members of the board of the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, which funded the project at two crucial stages.

For further details, contact David Reville, STG senior technology analyst, at 863-9106.