Brooklyn School of Inquiry Oral History

Brooklyn School of Inquiry Oral History, 2010 – present.

Extent: 400 digital audio files (and growing)


Brooklyn School of Inquiry Oral History is an ongoing oral history collection featuring interviews with elementary-school age children who attend a new school in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.  In 2010, BHS partnered with Brooklyn School of Inquiry (PS/IS686), a public citywide Gifted and Talented school founded in 2009, to document its growth.

This collection currently contains over 400 interviews and each year, 140-200 more are added. BHS interviews every new First Grader and BHS has been following the first First Grade class longitudinally since 2010. All interviews are recorded in digital audio format and digital video format and archived at both institutions.

Read more about the project here: A School Grows in Brooklyn.

To protect the students’ privacy, the collection is closed to researchers until the students are 18 years old (2022 for the oldest class) and the students agree at that time to make their interviews publicly accessible.

Permission to use the oral histories other than for private study, scholarship, or research requires the permission of both Brooklyn Historical Society and the narrator. For assistance, please consult library staff at


If you'd like to make an appointment to use this collection, or have a question, please fill out our online form.