The Elder Transcripts is a collection of stories from the voices of those who live here in the District of Digby.
This project started when the Municipality was conducting a survey to determine how many potential heritage properties there were in the District as part of the heritage property program initiative. The survey required elders from each community to identify the older homes and tells us what they knew about the history of the homes.
It was during this survey that we realized that most of the elders knew very little before the 1920’s. Many elders would refer to other elders that had recently passed away who were far more knowledgeable about their community’s past.
We realized that much of our oral history was being lost and not recorded. In response to this in 1999 the Municipality set up a small committee to develop a proposal and pursue funding for the Elder Transcript Project.
Municipal staff submitted an application to the Millennium Partnership Fund and was successful in securing funds for the project. By September 2000 we had hired the research team and a web site design team from the Middleton Community College.
After the orientation, one of the first tasks the research team set out to do was to identify potential elders from all communities in the District that had a good knowledge of the history of their community. The list grew to 137 elders in one week of investigation but by the time the elders were contacted the list shortened to 90 confirmed participants. Due to the time frame of the project, which was 10 weeks, 50 elders were chosen that represented all communities, gender and race in the District.
The design team in Middleton created a framework to display the transcripts and started developing a practical web site design. The project supervisors devised a list of questions to ask the elders. These questions had to cover a wide range of topics focusing in on the elder’s life experiences in the communities.
Each interview was videotaped and audio taped at the same time. The audio was then played back sentence-by-sentence and transcribed. The transcribed material was then sent to Middleton Community College to be added to the web site. Video clips were selected from the interviews and sent to Middleton as well.
By mid-February, 2001, the final draft of the web site was presented by the design team from NSCC in Middleton and by the first of March the CD ROM was presented for approval. On March 28, 2001, the web site was launched to the public.
Since the launch of the Elder Transcripts, the Municipality has received accolades from university professors and genealogists. In 2001, The Elder Transcripts was chosen by the Annapolis Community College Campus as their choice project to compete at the International Baddeck Festival for the Media Arts in Cape Breton.
Peputy Prime Minister
The Government of Canada is proud to support The Elder Transcript with a maximum financial contribution of $17,748 though the Canada Millennium Partnership Program. This program contributes up to one third of eligible project costs, while the private sector and other organizations provide the remaining funding. Minister Letter Download
This time line shows all of the major events that went on in Digby, Canada, and the world throughout the 1900's.