My research will accomplish these goals:
1. Produce a collection of biographies of ten elderly Montana residents that highlights their lives in accurate ways and preserves the heritage of Montana through their voices.
2. Answer the following question: How the world has changed over the last generation, and what have we gained and lost from these changes?
A handful of projects similar to this that currently exist regarding Montana history, but they largely tell individual stories. Even if such a collection of biographies did exist, it is not this specific collection of biographies, and therefore this enters into uncharted territory.
For this project, I collected information through interviews, publish each section as a rough draft on a blog, and combine the final edited works into a complete book.
Interviewees have been selected based on their willingness and ability to participate in this research. The interviews are conducted in segments, the length and frequency hinging on each interviewee and what they are physically/mentally able to handle at the time. I will write up a rough draft of what I’ve learned from each interviewee. I’ll send them a copy of what I’ve written so they can approve what I’ve written. Completed chapters will be pieced together, highlighting their connection through thematic and stylistic elements unite them.
I predict that this book will make a valuable contribution to the history of Montana and will offer precious insights on the development of the state throughout the decades. I intend to present this process in a way that highlights the project all the way through, from beginning to end, including interview construction, finding folks to willing and able to be interviewed, and then constructing a book from the gathered information.