Oral histories are intimate conversations between and among people who have generously agreed to share these recordings with BHS’s archives and researchers. Please listen in the spirit with which these were shared. BHS abides by the General Principles & Best Practices for Oral History as agreed upon by the Oral History Association and expects that use of this material will be done with respect for these professional ethics.
Every oral history relies on the memories, views, and opinions of the narrator. Because of the personal nature of oral history, listeners may find some viewpoints or language of the recorded participants to be objectionable. In keeping with its mission of preservation and unfettered access whenever possible, BHS presents these views as recorded.
The audio recording should be considered the primary source for each interview. Where provided, transcripts created prior to 2008 or commissioned by a third party other than BHS, serve as a guide to the interview and are not considered verbatim. More recent transcripts commissioned by BHS are nearly verbatim copies of the recorded interview, and as such may contain the natural false starts, verbal stumbles, misspeaks, and repetitions that are common in conversation. The decision for their inclusion was made because BHS gives primacy to the audible voice and also because some researchers do find useful information in these verbal patterns. Unless these verbal patterns are germane to your scholarly work, when quoting from this material researchers are encouraged to correct the grammar and make other modifications maintaining the flavor of the narrator’s speech while editing the material for the standards of print.
All citations must be attributed to Brooklyn Historical Society:
[Last name, First name], Oral history interview conducted by [Interviewer’s First name Last name], [Month DD, YYYY], [Title of Collection], [Call #]; Brooklyn Historical Society.
These interviews are made available for research purposes only. For more information about other kinds of usage and permissions, see BHS’s rights and reproductions policy.
Oral history interview conducted by Robert Sember
July 30, 1992
Call number: 1993.001.13
Oral History Interview with Maria Palazzo
Maria Palazzo is a White Italian woman from the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn who, at the time of this interview, was a volunteer at Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC). She began volunteering for the AIDS Walk and other fundraisers; jobs in line with her paid work as an accountant in Manhattan, and eventually became part of the GMHC Buddy Program. Palazzo went on to do more outreach-based work.
In this interview, Maria Palazzo provides a view of what it was to be a volunteer with a large AIDS organization in a major city in the United States in the 1990s. She speaks about the her motivations for volunteering, her interactions with fellow volunteers, and the reactions she gets from the general public, her workmates, friends, and family related to her volunteering. The narrator also considers differences in attitudes and available resources between Manhattan and the Bronx. Interview conducted by Robert Sember.
The AIDS/Brooklyn Oral History Project collection includes oral histories conducted for an exhibition undertaken by the Brooklyn Historical Society in 1993. The project attempted to document the impact of the AIDS epidemic on Brooklyn communities. Recordings initially made on magnetic tape concerned the epidemic and were with narrators who had firsthand experience with the crisis in their communities, families and personal life. Narrators came from diverse backgrounds within Brookyn and the New York metropolitan area and had unique experiences which connected them with HIV/AIDS. Substantive topics of hemophilia, sexual behavior, substance abuse, medical practice, social work, homelessness, activism, childhood, relationships and parenting run through at least one, and often several, of the oral histories in the collection.
CitationPalazzo, Maria, Oral history interview conducted by Robert Sember, July 30, 1992, AIDS/Brooklyn Oral History Project collection, 1993.001.13; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Gay Men's Health Crisis, Inc.
- Palazzo, Maria
- AIDS (Disease)
- Family life
- HIV infections
- HIV-positive persons
- Social group work
- Stigma (Social psychology)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- New York (N.Y.)
Finding AidAIDS/Brooklyn Oral History Project collection