Los Alamos Historic Document Retrieval & Assesment

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Guest Speaker:
Peter Malmgren

(Speaker comments are NOT direct quotes. All comments are paraphrased.)

Peter Malmgren is conducting the study: Los Alamos Revisited, an Oral History Project. CDC is supporting his study. The interviews are yielding oral histories of Los Alamos workers and area residents. The information gathered during the study will be publicly available, and is being shared with the project team.

Peter Malmgren described the study:

I have been at this for 16 months, spending time at 21 locations including villages, hamlets, towns, and cities. Initially I concentrated on interviewing workers from the valley. There are many blue-collar people living in the valley that have not been heard before. Now I am also talking to people in Los Alamos. Paul Renard opened the door.

I appreciate the people who have invited me into their homes. I am a big advocate of oral history, but I am not a technical wizard. Working together, I like to think we could bring these two disciplines together and add a personalized touch to the document search. I hope to be able to give CDC leads to make the search fruitful.

The study's goals are to (1) honor men and women, and (2) examine health and safety issues. As I entered in the process I used a carefully screened set of questions, which I have since trashed. I have learned that I need to go with what the people want to tell me. I am coming from a preservationist attidute: honor individuals; build an archive.

I am planing on holding a photographic exhibit. Photos have a lot of power, but I will use excerpts form interviews to give zip. The exhibit will be held in the Onate Center, north of Española. I hope this will turn into a reunion of sorts. Images often trigger more memories and more stories. I could get more information at the of time of exhibit.

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