Our Streets, Our Stories: Oral History

Our Streets, Our Stories: A Brooklyn Neighborhood Oral History Project

Brooklyn Public Library Services for Older Adults: Our Streets, Our Stories IconBrooklyn Public Library Services for Older Adults Image of Williamsburg Division Street

What is your Brooklyn story?

Our Streets, Our Stories is an ongoing oral history project of the Brooklyn Public Library’s Department of Outreach Services that seeks to explore the Brooklyn that is, and the Brooklyn that was, from the words of the community that lives here. The project aims is to actively collect a broad range of stories from our diverse neighborhoods so that future generations may better understand the history of this great borough.

Our Streets, Our Stories conducts interviews with Brooklyn residents, collecting their personal stories of the neighborhoods they have lived in. Interviews are informal and have been previously conducted at the Kings Bay, Leonard, Flatbush, Clinton Hill, and New Lots Libraries. Do you have a Brooklyn story to tell? You can call 718.236.1760 or email OSOSproject@bklynlibrary.org to arrange to be interviewed.

Hear our amazing interviews on our newly launched Tumblr and SoundCloud pages. Please visit:

The project is a partnership with Services for Older Adults and the Brooklyn Collection, with content uploaded to our website along with pictures and other relevant materials, to build an interactive historical map around the stories collected.


Community Scanning Events

Our Streets, Our Stories provides community members with the tools and technology to share their Brooklyn memorabilia and culture heritage materials with the world. Many items that can help tell Brooklyn’s story may be sitting boxed up and forgotten in your apartment or basement! We encourage you to dig out these items and bring them to the library.

Librarians Ivy Marvel, Sarah Quick and Maggie Schreiner.

We’re looking for materials like photographs, fliers and documents from Brooklyn families, businesses, block parties, community organizations-and anything else that tells the story of Brooklyn. More information can be found here: Our Streets, Our Stories: Community Scanning Events.


EPOCH: Electronically Preserving Our Cultural Heritage

Created by the Orange County Library System, EPOCH is a website that allows anyone to create and publish a free obituary online. Brooklyn Public Library has partnered with EPOCH to be the official collaborator for the state of New York. Publishing a free tribute to a friend or loved one using EPOCH is another way to preserve your local history and celebrate those who have passed by telling their stories.

       Publish your free tribute at www.epochlegacies.org


Part of a boatload of 2,500 Red Hook youngsters waves farewell as their vessel pulls away from the pier at the foot of Walcott St. They were to spend the day at Bear Mountain. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1952.


This program is sponsored by Brooklyn Public Library’s Department of Outreach Services, which has been established with the generous support of The Charles H. Revson Foundation.