Interview of Bernetta Doane and Eithne Bearden by Caitlin Carpenter

Bernetta Doane, La Salle University
Eithne Bearden, La Salle University
Caitlin Carpenter, La Salle University


Bernetta R. Doane and Eithne Bearden are both librarians at the Connolly Library at La Salle University. Although they have similar jobs and their lives seem to have converged to the extent that they have offices adjacent to one another, their paths to this point have been distinct and very unique. A comparison of these two women's interviews not only exhibits the rich diversity of American backgrounds but also reveals the inherent differences that occur when interviewing narrators of different backgrounds. Specifically in this group of interviews race was main difference between the two interviewees; one being of Irish decent while the other was African American. As discussed in Valerie Yow's book Recording Oral History, race can be a very strong hidden participant in the dialogue.1 This racial distinction played a major role in the interview with Mrs. Doane while it was a completely absent aspect of the Bearden interview.