Skip to main content Skip to main navigation

Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations oral history collection

Call Number



2011-2014, inclusive


Brooklyn Historical Society (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
Sullivan, Sady


709 Gigabytes of oral history interviews with 107 narrators. Collection includes transcripts, audio recordings, and photographs formatted as .wav, .mp3, .pdf, .jpg, and .png files, in addition to 3 linear feet of paper transcripts.

Language of Materials

English .

Historical note

Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations (CBBG) was an oral history project and public programming series sponsored by Brooklyn Historical Society from 2011 to 2014. CBBG was designed to examine the history and experiences of mixed-heritage people and families in Brooklyn. The project also explored the broader themes of cultural hybridity, race, ethnicity, and identity formation in the United States. CBBG was created by Sady Sullivan, Director of Oral History at Brooklyn Historical Society from 2006-2014, and the project was funded with assistance from public and private grants. CBBG expanded upon Brooklyn Historical Society's oral history collection, which was founded in 1973 and contains interviews with over 1200 narrators.


This collection is arranged alphabetically by the narrator's last name.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials from the CBBG oral history project. Included are transcripts and audio recordings of interviews conducted by 25 oral historians with 107 narrators. Also included are photographs of the narrators and their families. The oral histories were conducted as life history interviews; topics of discussion include self and identity; religion and tradition; laws and mores; food and celebration; love and marriage; parents and children; race and ethnicity; and cultural preservation.

Conditions Governing Access

Oral histories can be accessed onsite at the Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations website:

Please see the Oral History Note for guidelines on using Brooklyn Historical Society's oral history collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to use the oral histories other than for private study, scholarship, or research requires the permission of both Brooklyn Historical Society and the narrator. Restricted oral histories are clearly marked in the finding aid. For assistance, please consult library staff at

Preferred Citation

Oral history interview with Narrator's Name (First Last), Year of interview (YYYY), Identifier/ Catalog Number; Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations oral history collection, 2011.019; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Oral History note

Oral history interviews are intimate conversations between two people, both of whom have agreed to share the recordings with Brooklyn Historical Society and with researchers. Please listen in the spirit with which these were shared. Researchers will understand that:

1. Brooklyn Historical Society abides by the General Principles & Best Practices for Oral History as agreed upon by the Oral History Association (2009) and expects that use of this material will be done with respect for these professional ethics.

2.This transcript is a nearly verbatim copy of the recorded interview. As such, it may contain the natural false starts, verbal stumbles, misspeaks, and repetitions that are common in conversation. This decision was made because Brooklyn Historical Society gives primacy to the audible voice and also because some researchers do find useful information in these verbal patterns.

3.Unless these verbal patterns are germane to your scholarly work, when quoting from this material researchers are encouraged to correct the grammar and make other modifications maintaining the flavor of the narrator's speech while editing the material for the standards of print.

Collection processed by

Julia Lipkins with assistance from Elena Locascio

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 11:20:25 +0000.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Finding aid is written in English

Processing Information

All narrators were provided with transcripts of their oral histories and given the opportunity to make redactions and additions. Library staff incorporated the narrators' edits into transcripts and audio recordings. As a result, some of the audio recordings may contain segments that sound uneven or choppy. Additionally, due to privacy concerns, the birthdates of all narrators were redacted from the transcripts and audio recordings featured on the CBBG website.

The CBBG interviewers and narrators discussed the history and experiences of mixed-heritage people and families in an open and forthright manner. This finding aid was therefore created with forthright and descriptive language, i.e., when available, the narrator's race, heritage, nationality, and religion were recorded in the biographical and scope notes.


Brooklyn Historical Society


Box: 4 of 4 (2011.019) (Material Type: Text)
Box: 2 of 4 (2011.019) (Material Type: Text)
Box: 3 of 4 (2011.019) (Material Type: Text)
Box: 1 of 4 (2011.019) (Material Type: Text)
Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201