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Oral History

Oral history is, quite simply, a method of gathering and preserving historical information by recording interviews with women and men who have participated in past events or who can describe a way of life that is fading from view. Oral history does not replace history based on written records; it supplements and enhances other forms of history.

Mrs. Rogers has conducted hundreds of oral history interviews from 1991 through 2010. She has focused her attention on the lives of Catholic women, particularly women religious. She has written articles, book reviews and essays on the topic and published collections of her oral history interviews.

In 1998, with the support of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth and the College of Saint Elizabeth in Convent Station, NJ, she initiated "Gifts From Our Past," an oral history project that contains the recorded life stories of a wide variety of Catholic women in New Jersey--second and third generation Irish and Italian women; recent immigrant women; African-American women; and women from Eastern churches. All tapes and transcripts are preserved in the Archives at the College and are available to the public.

In 2001 the College established the Center for Catholic Women's History, which works in partnership with students, faculty, scholars, and the general public to not only preserve the collection but also increase knowledge of the contributions Catholic women have made to American society as well as to the Catholic Church. The Center presents an annual Heritage Award to students who contribute original scholarly work to the holdings. Mrs. Rogers serves on the Advisory Committee of the Center.