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Douglas County Oral History Recordings Project – Updating our Cassettes to Digital Files

Audio mp3 files of Oral History Recordings Available 

Beginning in the 1970’s, volunteers from the Douglas County Historical Society MN realized the importance of interviewing local residents, preserving their memories and histories.  Cassette recorders in hand, the interviewers asked questions about the lives and experiences of many residents.  Most of these interviews were typed/transcribed, and the written records placed in the family files.  The cassettes were cataloged and stored in a safe place.

Now, with changes in technology, these cassettes have been transformed into digital audio files (mp3), which
can be more easily shared with the family members and descendants.

The oral histories mp3 files are available for purchase in two formats:
CD for $25
USB Flash Drive for $30

Many of the interviews are quite long, sometimes 2 hours, and the file sizes are too large to send by email.

Here is a shortened example of a 1981 interview with Nelson, Minnesota resident Annie J. D. Olsen (Mrs. Harold F. Johnson) who, at age 85, was interviewed by Minnie Osterholt.  Annie, born in 1896 near Nelson, tells about her 8th grade graduation in 1911, and her wish to get out into the world.  She grew up on a farm at the Nelson Corner, and “getting out into the world” consisted of working at the General Store in downtown Nelson.

To find out if your family member has an oral history in our collection, click HERE to download the Excel spreadsheet list of interview subjects, dates and topics, or click HERE to see the PDF file of the same.


To listen to part of Annie’s interview, click the play arrow. (It takes a few seconds to load, before it begins.)

The farm at Nelson Corner, Douglas County Minnesota, where Annie was born.