Sady Sullivan is Director of Oral History at Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS). BHS’s oral history collections began in 1973 with the Puerto Rican Oral History Project, 1973-1976 and include interviews with narrators born as early as 1890. The collections currently contain over 840 interviews conducted in English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Mandarin; over 500 interviews have been added to the collection since Sady began working at BHS in 2006.
Sady initiated and currently co-directs Crossing Borders, Bridging Generations: an oral history project and public programming series examining the history and experiences of mixed-heritage people and families in Brooklyn.
To date, Sady has lead seven oral history projects at BHS including Brooklyn Navy Yard Oral History collection, 2007-2011; Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Oral History collection, 2007-2008; and a longitudinal oral history of elementary students at Brooklyn School of Inquiry, 2010 – present. In addition, she has contributed oral history interviews and produced audio for eleven public history projects including the Fort Greene / Clinton Hill Neighborhood Guide (BHS, 2010); the exhibition In Our Own Words: Portraits of Brooklyn Vietnam Veterans (BHS, 2007 – 2010); and Folk Feet audio slideshows, (BHS in partnership with Brooklyn Arts Council, 2009).
Sady also oversees the ongoing digitization and preservation of BHS’s legacy oral history collections, improving access to these important interviews. For example, the 8th Avenue-Sunset Park Oral History collection, 1993-1994,which documents the development of Brooklyn’s Chinatown, was originally created in partnership with the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA). The collection is now digitized and currently available to researchers at both BHS and MOCA.
Sady advises several community-based oral history projects in Brooklyn, offering interviewer training and other resources to assist the accessioning process, should organizers choose BHS as an archival repository for their collection.
Sady is an active member of the Oral History Association and she teaches and presents frequently at schools and professional conferences, particularly on issues surrounding oral history, accessibility, and digital humanities. This summer she was an instructor at Oral History Summer School in Hudson, New York.
Sady received a Master’s in Cultural Reporting & Criticism from NYU and a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Wellesley College.
- Case Study: Involving Narrators in Exhibits, Interpretation and Curation: Portraits of Brooklyn Vietnam Veterans, Sady Sullivan
- Museum Exhibits and Oral History (Thinking Big Video)