Memories of Orchard East

Library Preserves Oral Histories of the Orchard East Neighborhood

The Monroe County Library System is pleased to announce an initiative to capture and preserve the vibrant history of the Orchard East neighborhood.

With the launch of “Memories of Orchard East: Digital Community Archive” the Monroe County Library System is striving to ensure the collective memory and heritage of our community is preserved for generations to come. Any one who has memories or materials related to the Orchard East neighborhood is welcome to participate in this project.

Recognizing that every individual holds a significant piece of the neighborhood’s tapestry, the project aims to collect a wide range of stories. From longtime residents who have witnessed the evolution of the Orchard firsthand to newcomers who bring fresh perspectives, the library invites everyone to contribute their narratives. The project will encompass a diverse range of themes including family life, work, cultural traditions, community activism, and the transformations the neighborhood has undergone over time.

Collected Memorabilia

Pieces of interest from the Orchard East neighborhood may include, but are not limited to:

  • Letters
  • Business cards
  • Year books
  • Family recipes.

Memorabilia will be scanned and the library will archive the digital images. The library will not hold the original items and will not hold any rights over the material. Once the oral histories and memorabilia are collected and digitized, they will be available as anthology on the library’s website. This archive will become an invaluable resource for researchers, students, and anyone interested in the rich tapestry of the Orchard’s history and culture.

This project is being co-led by Kristen Brown and Regina Manning. Brown is working on a Master’s in Library and Information Science Degree. She said, “Community archives came up in one of my classes. Giving power back to the community to choose what they want to share – instead of having a single voice speaking for the community – is of vital importance.” Manning added, “Through the ‘Memories of Orchard East: Digital Community Archive’ we hope to celebrate and honor the unique experiences, narratives, memories, and perspectives of our community members while creating an invaluable archive of oral histories.”

The Monroe County Library System has long been dedicated to fostering a sense of belonging and providing resources that reflect the diverse experiences of our patrons. The library has collaborated with local historians, educators, and community organizations to ensure the project’s success. The City of Monroe, the Opportunity Center, the Monroe County Museum, and Orchard High School have been particularly helpful in launching this project.

In expressing her enthusiasm for the project, Library Director Nancy Bellaire stated, “By preserving the oral histories of community, we foster a deep connection to our past while inspiring future generations to build upon the legacy of those who came before them.”

How to Get Involved

Interested individuals can find more information, including guidelines for participation and upcoming events, by contacting Regina Manning at She also can be reached by telephone at (734) 241-5277.