MAPS Oral History Project

In 1999 I began a project at the meeting in Lancaster, PA. That year I started interviewing MAPS members, collecting the history, stories and anecdotes of our organization. I interviewed Charlie Walker, Sam Storch, Tom Stec, Laura Deines (Meader), and Norm Dean. I am interested in interviewing more people. I enjoy the process and I coordinate this effor from my home in Maine. I don’t travel our territory as much as I would like, so this is where you can get involved and help out.

Our membership is changing, aging, and evolving. There are a lot of stories that can be archived with your assistance. I encourage you to interview your colleagues, especially the ones nearing retirement or even those who have recently retired. This is not to say that younger members don’t have interesting stories to add, anyone can become part of the archives.

What you will need to conduct an interview:

  • Some sort of recording device and microphone. Use the best equipment you have available, the quality of your recording depends on it.
  • Come up with a list of questions, but remember to let the interviewee do most of the talking (it’s easy to want to fill in the gaps).
  • Get a signed release for the interview. You will find a release form in the .pdf file below. This gives the person you are interviewing a sense that you are responsible, and it gives them some control as to how the interview is used.
  • When your interview(s) are complete, please send copies to the MAPS archives, c/o John Meader, Northern Stars Planetarium, 15 Western Ave, Fairfield, ME 04937.
    Be sure to include the recording (preferably a cassette or CD), a transcript if you made one, and the signed release form.
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via phone (207)453-7668, or email
  • MAPS Interview Release Form

I hope to hear from some of you soon.

John T. Meader, MAPS Historian/Archivist
Northern Stars Planetarium
Fairfield, ME 04937