November 2016 Follow-Up Letter

November 2016

Dear Participant,

Ever since your interview, we've been busy working on many aspects of the Oral History Project. We're writing to give you an update on the book's progress, to let you know about a companion website we're developing, and to ask if you would like to contribute any photos to either or both projects.

Overall Progress

Here's what's been going on:

  • May 2014 - July 2015: We transcribed, proofread, and then annotated the 110 interviews so chapter authors could search the transcripts easier. At least four different people saw each interview for this process.
  • May 2015: The chapter authors met for the first time.
  • November 2015: Chapters started arriving in the editors' hands for a first read-through.
  • February 2016: Authors began handing in their second drafts.
  • March 2016: Discussions began around a companion website. (More details below.)
  • Summer 2016: Work on the companion website started.

Twenty-two authors are contributing their expertise to the book, with each chapter being written by two co-authors. Three professors make up the editorial team. As you can probably imagine, there's a lot to coordinate, and this is taking us longer than we had originally hoped. The majority of chapters have gone through the second editing phase and are awaiting a final edit before they are compiled into the book and sent to a publisher for further work. In addition, we've already received the book's preface, written by former German Consul-General Walter Stechel.

We'll keep you up-to-date of any major developments. If you're online, you can follow us on Twitter @UWaterlooWCGS or on Facebook at to hear about updates as they become available.

Companion Website

The 110 interviews contain 125 hours of material: far too much for a single book! We also realized that a book is a finite project, one that has a beginning and an end, and possibly an out-of-print date.

We'd like to help the public learn more about how Germans contributed to Waterloo Region. Although much of the history of Germans in the Region has been documented and shared, very little is available on anything past World War II. To that end, we're creating a companion website to the book. The website will contain myriad articles and an elementary-level educational section, all based on the interviews collected during the project.

When you participated in the Oral History Project, you signed an agreement guaranteeing anonymity in the interview, unless you agreed to have your name mentioned in the book. We have attached a similar permission form to ask if we may use your name in online material. You may of course decline. Please let us know your wishes by December 31st by completing the permission form and sending it in the included envelope.

Photo Contributions

All text and no photos can be pretty boring to read. Do you have photos of your childhood, your life back in Europe, important events or milestones of your life here in Canada, or anything relevant to your life story? If so, please consider contributing them to the book, the website, or both. Please see the attached information sheet.

Thank you again for your help with the project thus far. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at (519) 888-4567 ext. 39267 or


Lori Straus

Administrative Assistant

Waterloo Centre for German Studies