The council recently partnered with the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Oral History Program to create an online oral history of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Through the University’s Project Jukebox website, visitors can access video, audio, and written resources that offer a rich understanding of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
The personal stories of twenty people who experienced the spill firsthand are highlighted in the project. Each person talks about the impact the spill had on their life and the environment, the cleanup response, the long-term effects of the spill, and changes in the oil industry since 1989. Twenty-five years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Project Jukebox is helping preserve this piece of history. Many of these stories are being told for the first time. The experiences documented on the Project Jukebox site are now accessible to the public.
These poignant oral history recordings are stark reminders of the need to combat complacency regarding oil spill risks and for everyday citizens to get involved in helping shape public policy focused on oil-spill prevention, response, and impacts. These stories are now available for current and future generations to better understand the history of the spill.
The interviews will be of particular interest to local residents of Prince William Sound, the Kenai Peninsula, and Kodiak Island who were impacted by the spill, but also to people from around the world hoping to prevent similar accidents in their coastal waters.
The project is available online: Exxon Valdez Project Jukebox
This project was supported by funding from the Alaska State Library, Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Alaska Resources Library and Information Services, and the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council.
For more information about this project, please contact:
Leslie McCartney, Curator of Oral History, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Alicia Zorzetto, Digital Collections Librarian, Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council