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Special Collections: Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Oral History Collection

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Oral History Collection

About the Collection

The collection was acquired in 2020 from Dr. Lisa Rosner and is composed of oral history interviews with 18 individuals, transcripts of the interviews, maps, and various research material relating to the Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge. The oral histories pertain to family or local histories for the area around Forsythe as well as local legends and common folklore. Time periods such as pre-European colonization, The Great Depression, and the rise of environmentalism are covered within a comprehensive timeline of the area. This is supplemented by the oral histories along with stories collected from across the history of the area. 

The Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge covers more than 48,000 acres of wetlands and waterways along the Ocean and Atlantic County coastline. It stretches from Barnegat Bay to Reeds Bay. The Refuge was created in 1984 from two refuges, which were originally established in 1939 and 1967. Protected by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, it is named for United States House of Representative Edwin Bell Forsythe, a conservationist who represented the 6th District of New Jersey from 1970-1983 and then the 13th District in 1984. Individuals interviewed were Fred Akers, Sandra Bierbrauer, Edgar Bristow, Dennis Burroughs, Jack Connor, Stewart Farrell, Chrstine Gertain, German Georgieff, Harry Leeds, Fred Lesser, John Mathis, Alyson Newman, Barbara Nyman, Ray Nyman, Betsy Searight, Norman Thomas, and Wendel White. 

The oral history project was conducted by Dr. Lisa Rosner's Honors students in 2006-2007. Student interviewers were Christine Boardman, Alyson Newman, and Ryan Wydra. Dr. Rosner also participated as an interviewer.

Collection processed by Steven Keeny, Special Collections intern, Spring 2022.

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Copyright Notice

While Stockton University’s Bjork Library’s Special Collection and Archives owns the collection, Stockton may not own the copyright for all of the items. Researchers wishing to reproduce materials are responsible for obtaining the proper permissions.