LEWISTON — The University of Southern Maine’s Franco-American Collection will host an exposition of its extensive collection of oral history interviews at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 20.

The lecture by collection coordinator James Myall will highlight themes from the dozens of interviews recorded with local area residents from the 1970s through the present day. The event is the second in the Franco-American Collection’s series, “Franco-American Voices,” exploring the relationship between stories and Franco-American identity.

“Oral histories are interviews with local people about their lives,” said Myall. “They can be with local celebrities or regular folks, and they give historians a unique look at everyday life from someone who lived through it. Because our set of oral histories reaches back to memories of the 1890s, they’re an especially great way to bring the past to life.”

The lecture, which will be held in room 170 of USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, is open to everyone. Myall will play extracts from numerous oral histories and lead a discussion on the reactions and memories they provoke from the audience. The subjects covered by the oral histories at the Franco-American Collection cover growing up in Lewiston-Auburn, parish schools, local businesses like Lacasse’s Bakery and Mailhot Sausage, work in the textile mills and shoe shops, family life and military service.

The event is free and no reservations are necessary. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call James Myall at 753-6545, email [email protected] or visit www.usm.maine.edu/franco. Many of the oral histories can also be listened to online at the collection’s website.

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