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UW South Asian Oral History Project
The University of Washington Libraries greatly recognizes the importance of oral histories as an important primary source for historical narratives. This recognition has led to the South Asian Oral History Project (SAOHP) at the University of Washington Libraries.
The SAOHP represents one of the first attempts in the U.S. to record pan-South Asian immigrant experiences in the Pacific Northwest using the medium of oral history. This initiative not only has the goal of preserving the history of South Asian immigration to the region, but also of making these historical resources/material available to everyone.
This project began in 2005 through a generous grant to the UW Libraries Special Collections from Irene Joshi, the former South Asia Studies Librarian at UW Libraries. Her contribution of $7000 set in motion this exciting project of remembering and celebrating the achievements of South Asians.The second, third and fourth phase of this project were initiated and completed by Deepa Banerjee, South Asian Studies Librarian who joined UW Libraries in 2006.
In December 2012, this project became the basis for the publication of book titled “Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest” published by University of Washington Press. In 2019, a documentary “Raga and Tala: South Asian Performing Artists in the Pacific Northwest” was coproduced by Deepa Banerjee and Emma Hinchliffe based on the interviews by performing artists from the fourth phase.