During World War II, the entire Vineyard community mobilized to support the war effort, both on the home front and overseas. The personal stories and perspectives of Vineyard people who survived the war years are a part of the Museum's oral history collections and were featured in an exhibition at the Museum in 2009-2010. These stories brought alive the horror and confusion of battle, the exhiliration of victory, and the shared sacrifice and anxiety experienced by those on the home front. Today, they indicate the impact the War had on the lives of the men and women of the Vineyard community. The following oral histories clips from the original exhibit have been made available for more people to learn about and listen to. Full interviews of these Vineyarders' WWII experiences and more can be heard in the Museum Library. The full narratives and photographs are transcribed and available in the book Those Who Serve: Martha's Vineyard and WWII. Visit the Museum Shop for details. For more information about this exhibit, please contact Linsey Lee at 508-627-4441 x113.
The mission of the MVM Oral History Center is to promote the preservation and collection of Vineyard history, past and present, through recorded oral history interviews and related materials. The center was established at the Museum in 1993. It now contains over 1,400 interviews of Vineyard people conducted over the past forty years. The archive of tapes, transcripts, and photos is housed at the Museum. Reference copies of the master tapes and transcripts are available in the Gale Huntington Library for researchers. Anthropologists and historians have long regarded individual oral testimonies to be a key factor in shaping a shared memory and identity. An understanding of the values and decision made in the past are of great importance. The recorded memories and observations of various Vineyarders in the MVM Oral History Center deepen our understanding and appreciation of the past, broaden our awareness of the unique qualities of the Vineyard, and inform our individual and collective decisions regarding the Island. Oral histories are integrated into many of the Museum exhibits to enhance and enrich the visitor's experience.
Join the MVM staff and board of directors for the Martha's Vineyard Museum Annual Meeting of Members. This meeting reviews the 2010 year and recognizes the work of outgoing board members. The 2011 Martha's Vineyard Medal Recipients: Marian Halperin, Introduced by James B Richardson, III; Francine Kelly, Introduced by Ann Smith and Janis Smith-Gomez; S. Bailey Norton, Jr., Introduced by S. Christopher Scott, accepted by Joan Norton.