The Oral History Collection, housed at the Museum of the West, holds a wealth of information on Mesa County because it is told by the people who lived during the events that shaped the county. Housed on cassette tapes, it is difficult to listen to in its current format because there is a considerable amount of background noise on many of them, which can make it difficult to understand what is being said, and they cannot be easily duplicated because their format is outdated and machines to play them are difficult to find. Currently, they are only available to researchers who can visit the museum.
To make this incredibly valuable collection more available to researchers and the public, the Museums of Western Colorado has collaborated with the Mesa County Public library to begin the digitization of the Oral History Collection. The library will be using its new recording studio to make MP3 files from the cassette tapes. This will allow us to reduce the background noise and enhance the audio of the person speaking. The Mesa County Public Library will be uploading the digital files to the Marmot Library website, where people will be able to search for them by subject. The Museums of Western Colorado will continue to maintain both the original cassette tapes and the digital files. Having them available in both places will increase our ability to offer them as a resource to people who may wish to use them.