Welcome to the Queens Irish Oral History Project, devoted to collecting the stories and experiences of the Irish and Irish-Americans in Queens and beyond.
The goal of this project is to record and preserve the living history of Irish immigrants who made their first home in Queens. From Woodside and Sunnyside to Bayside and Floral Park, the Irish of Queens have made a wonderful and lasting imprint on our country.
Many thanks to the interviewees who have participated in this unique project thus far. It’s been our pleasure to spend time with you. Each of you has provided invaluable insight into the immigrant experience with characteristic Irish wit and wisdom. Because of your efforts many people will be able to hear first-hand accounts of arriving and assimilating to a new life in New York during the past 70 years.
The recordings you can access here are edited versions of some of the interviews that will be preserved in the Queens College Benjamin Rosenthal Library. They will be a valuable resource for relatives, researchers and all those interested in Irish history for generations to come.
This effort to honor and safeguard the memories and voices of Irish immigrants in Queens and beyond will enable all of us to appreciate, understand and remember what this country means to so many people who journeyed here with the hope and intention to create a better life.
We hope you enjoy listening to these stories as much as we did.
Dr. Sarah Covington, Director, Queens College Irish Studies Program
Eileen Colleran Sprague, Director, Queens Irish Oral History Project
A Life Across The Ocean
This series documents the lives of Irish men and women who made the journey across the Atlantic and found a home in Queens. Many left homes without electricity in the 1940s and 1950s to live in the hustle an bustle of New York City. We learn about the struggles and successes of their lives in America as well as how they maintained strong ties to home.