Nunn Center Launches Haiti Memory Project

Two years after Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake near Port au Prince, I would like to announce the Haiti Memory Project, a project to record and preserve oral histories with over 100 survivors of the earthquake in Haiti.

The Haiti Memory Project is the brainchild of Claire Antone Payton, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History and Institute of French Studies at NYU, where she focuses on Haitian history. Beginning in 2011, Payton partnered with our center (the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries), to house, preserve,digitize and make available to the public this important historical collection of narratives.  The Haiti Memory Project explores life in the Caribbean country before and after the earthquake. The project’s interviews offer Haitians the opportunity to tell their own story of what has happened to their homeland. While almost all of the interviews reference the earthquake, many of the accounts focus on life after the event, including life in refugee camps. Interviews range from 30 minutes to approximately two hours and reflect such topics as politics, culture, medicine, religion and attitudes toward foreigners. Payton collected the interviews between June and December 2010.

The Nunn Center intends for the oral history project to be accessible to researchers around the world via the Internet and provide Haitians access to this pivotal moment in their history. Our hope is to present these interviews online using the Nunn Center’s OHMS system for search and discovery.  To browse the Haiti Memory project collection in SPOKE, the Nunn Center’s online catalog of interview, go to

To learn more about this amazing project take a look at a recent news story: