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Guide to the Aisling Irish Community Center Oral History Collection AIA.035

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Rebecca Altermatt

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 29, 2017
Description is in English

Historical/Biographical Note

The Aisling Irish Community Center is located in Yonkers, New York. Established in 1996, the Center serves to assist Irish immigrants moving to the United States, much like the Emerald Isle Immigration Center in Woodside, Queens. The Aisling Center also provides services for the elderly Irish and Irish-American community in Yonkers and Woodlawn. This project of recording memories evolved from a program at the Center for Seniors called "Young at Heart." Staff member Frances Browner initiated a creative writing class which focused on different themes and memories of the participants. From the exercise the idea of recording the stories and creating the narrative was formed. The result is the book While Mem'ry Brings us Back Again.

The participants tell of coming to America, the different ships they took, their impressions of New York - the weather, the tall buildings, navigating the subway, electricity and indoor plumbing - their first jobs, their friendships and social activities, and their homesickness. For many, leaving to come to America was also the first time they had ever been out of their hometown. Some came voluntarily; others were chosen or sent by a family member.