BWS Associates

Company Information

Contact: Barbara W. Sommer (oral historian, owner of BWS Associates)

583 Maple Park Drive
Mendota Heights, MN 55118

Mobile 651-492-7924
Business 651-797-3645

Year Established: 1993

Specialties: Historians, Oral, Museum Consultants

Training/Experience: I often work with and mentor oral historians in Minnesota. In doing so, I guide others in doing oral history. My own training and experience spans four decades of work in public history and oral history both in the state and on a national level. I also provide consulting services to museums, with a focus on exhibit development.

Notes: I am a public historian with a specialty in oral history. I have led or co-led more than 40 oral history projects and am the author or co-author of a number of the leading books in the field, including The Oral History Manual, The American Indian Oral History Manual, and the Community Oral History Toolkit. I am available to consult on oral history project development and to do oral history projects. I also am an experienced oral history workshop leader, both in the state and nationally, with specific experience in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. Awards: Minnesota Book Award in the Minnesota Category(2009), Northeast Minnesota Book Award in the General Nonfiction Category(2009), and Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History (2009) for Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota. Barbara W. Sommer. Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2008.


Project: HIV Care Providers Oral History Project
Location: Minnesota
Year: 2012-2016

Project: Minnesota History of Philanthropy Oral History Project
Location: statewide
Year: 2014-ongoing

Project: Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans Oral History Project.
Location: Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Year: 2011