Making Sense of Oral History
…offers a place for students and teachers to begin working with oral history interviews as historical evidence. Written by Linda Shopes, this guide presents an overview of oral history and ways historians use it, tips on what questions to ask when reading or listening to oral history interviews, a sample interpretation of an interview, an annotated bibliography, and a guide to finding and using oral history online. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/mse/oral/
Baylor University Institute for Oral History
Since 1970, the Institute has created oral histories that document personal experience of historical significance. The Institute has developed a strong reputation for its outreach to the wider multidisciplinary community of scholars by providing leadership, education, and research opportunities.
The Center for the Study of History and Memory began its existence in 1968, when the "Oral History Project" was founded by Oscar O. Winther as an initiative to collect the history of the University itself. The enormous potential of oral history as a research and pedagogical tool was quickly apparent, and the project expanded as other research studies were added to its growing archive. The center's mission encompassed archival, pedagogical, and research goals in the field of oral history, with particular emphasis on the history of
Oral History Techniques: How to Organize and Conduct Oral History Interviews
( from the
Fundamentals of Oral History is part of the Texas Preservation Guidelines series. It offers suggestions on how to arrange interviews, structure meaningful questions, set up equipment and organize information. http://www.thc.state.tx.us/oralhistory/ohdefault.html
Southern Oral History Program Guidebook.
A comprehensive introduction to critical aspects to oral history fieldwork. The Guidebook includes a full complement of resources to assist in the design, execution, and processing of oral history interviews. Excellent "how to" manual. http://www.sohp.org/howto/guide/
The Columbia University Oral History Research Office is the oldest and largest organized oral history program in the world. Founded in 1948 by Pulitzer Prize winning historian Allan Nevins, the oral history collection now contains nearly 8,000 taped memoirs, and nearly 1,000,000 pages of transcript. These memoirs include interviews with a wide variety of historical figures. Some interviews, conducted in the late 1940s, contain recollections dating back to the second administration of Grover Cleveland. An interview with Charles C. Burlingham conducted in 1949 opens with a discussion of the drafts riots during the Civil War.
The Archive of Folk Culture mainly consists of the collections of the
Oral History Association
The Oral History Association, established in 1966, seeks to bring together all persons interested in oral history as a way of collecting human memories. With an international membership, the OHA serves a broad and diverse audience. Local historians, librarians and archivists, students, journalists, teachers, and academic scholars from many fields have found that the OHA provides both professional guidance and collegial environment for sharing information. In addition to fostering communication among its members, the OHA encourages standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, dissemination and uses of oral testimony. To guide and advise those concerned with oral documentation, the OHA has established a set of goals, guidelines, and evaluation standards for oral history interviews. The association also recognizes outstanding achievement in oral history through an awards program. Awards are given in the categories of publications, nonprint media productions, teaching , and oral history projects. http://omega.dickinson.edu/organizations/oha/
The Oral History Association’s list of Oral History Centers on the Internet
A network for scholars and professionals active in studies related to oral history. It is affiliated with the Oral History Association. It includes an Oral History email list serve/online discussion as well as numerous excellent weblinks. http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~oralhist/
Oral History Society (UK)
The Oral History Society is a national and international organisation dedicated to the collection and preservation of oral history. It encourages people of all ages to tape, video or write down their own and other people's life stories. It offers practical support and advice about how to get started, what equipment to use, what techniques are best, how to look after tapes, and how to make use of what you have collected. Offers comprehensive how-to resources. http://www.oralhistory.org.uk/
American Century Project
This project provides students the opportunity to further uncover the American Century through interviews with individuals who helped shape or witnessed events or periods that form the American experience. Students are required to interview a nonfamily member about a particular period or event of the American Century. The project allows students to probe deeper into a content area of their choosing while at the same time utilizing many of the skills used by historians. In order for students to become excited about history, they must see the relevancy of the past to their own lives. Oral history provides such an opportunity as students go into the “field” and, as oral historian Studs Terkel once said, they uncover the “living repositories of our past.”
Oral History in the Classroom
An oral history project allows students to become a producer of historical knowledge rather than a passive absorber of historical information. Oral history can be effectively integrated into a wide range of courses across all disciplines as a means to assess both skills and content while at the same time empowering students with their own learning. A fundamental goal of this web site is to not only make accessible the rich archives of student oral history projects to a world wide audience but to also provide educators an opportunity to reinvigorate the teaching of history through the integration of an oral history project into their classroom. In consideration of the time constraints placed on teachers, as well as the need to meet state and national standards, this site provides all that is needed to implement and conduct an oral history project. All that is left is to find enthusiastic students who want to participate in the preservation of history; such students invariably exist in each of our classrooms or programs. http://www.doingoralhistory.org/in_classroom/index.html
September 11th 2001 Oral History Narrative and Memory Project
The Columbia University Oral History Research Office [OHRO], in collaboration with the Institute for Social and Economic Research Policy [ISERP] at Columbia University, has undertaken a major oral history project on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and their aftermath. More than 300 audiotaped interviews have been conducted with a wide variety of people who were directly and indirectly affected by the catastrophe. Many of the interviews were conducted within six to eight weeks of the attacks, in order to document the uniqueness and diversity of experiences of and responses to the catastrophe as close to the events as possible.
A production, distribution, and instructional center for all forms of "aural" history. Our mission is to provide teachers, students, researchers and the general public with as broad and outstanding a collection of audio documentaries, speeches, debates, oral histories, conference sessions, commentaries, archival audio sources, and other aural history resources as is available anywhere. http://www.talkinghistory.org
The Journal for MultiMedia History
A journal of history that uses hypertext and multimedia technologies to merge audio, video, graphics, and text into a form that can only be communicated on the World Wide Web (WWW) or on CD-ROM/DVD mediums. So much of what we were doing as professional historians seemed so isolating that we wanted to "get out on the Web," to reach not only academicians, but an entire universe of interested readers. We wanted to bring serious historical scholarship and pedagogy under the scrutiny of amateurs and professionals alike, to utilize the promise of digital technologies to expand history's boundaries, merge its forms, and promote and legitimate innovations in teaching and research that we saw emerging all around us. http://www.albany.edu/jmmh
Readings and Practicum in Oral and Video History
An online course syllabus by Professor Gerald Zahavi of the University at Albany-State University of New York. This is a full-semester course and very comprehensive. http://www.albany.edu/history/oralhistory/
“Oral History: From Sound to Print and Back Again”
Article (in pdf format) by Donald A. Ritchie
in The Organization of American Historians’ MAGAZINE OF HISTORY • SPRING 1997
1978 Baltimore neighborhood oral history project and documentary theater production. Archive held at the University of Baltimore Langsdale Library Special Collections http://archives.ubalt.edu/bvc/table.htm
The American Folklife Center Online Collections and Presentations
Access to selected portions of the collections. Online content may include audio samples of music and stories, digital images of rare letters and photographs, and video clips. http://www.loc.gov/folklife/onlinecollections.html
An Oral History of Rhode Island Women during World War II
A number of transcripts available for online reading: http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/WWII_Women/tocCS.html
Archives of American Art, Oral History Collections
This site offers transcriptions of more than 180 interviews with a variety of artists, including Louise Nevelson, Robert Indiana, Richard Diebenkorn, and Rube Goldberg. Projects include Texas and southwestern artists, Northwest artists, Latino artists, African-American artists, Asian-American artists, and women in the arts in Southern California. This site also include transcripts for more than 50 of the 400 interviews conducted in the 1960s as part of the “New Deal and the Arts Oral History Program.”
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938
A collaborative effort of the Manuscripts and Prints and Photographs Divisions, this site has more than 2,300 first person accounts of slavery. The narratives were collected as part of the 1930s Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Project Administration, and they were assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the 17-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves. Each digitized transcript of a slave narrative is accompanied by notes including the name of the narrator, place and date of the
interview, interviewer’s name, length of transcript, and cataloging information.
Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive
This Web site offers 125 oral histories relating to the civil rights movement, drawn from the University of Southern Mississippi Center for Oral History Collection. The site features interviews with civil rights leaders such as Charles Cobb, Charles Evers, and Aaron Henry. It also offers oral history information about prominent figures on both sides of the civil rights movement, such as “race-baiting” Governor Ross Barnett, national White Citizens Council leader William J. Simmons, and State Sovereignty leader Erle Johnston. Each interview file includes a longer (250-300 word) biography, a list of topics discussed, a transcript of the interview, and descriptive information about the interview, the interviewer, interviewee, and topics, time period, and regions covered. http://www.lib.usm.edu/~spcol/crda/index.html
Oral History Online!, Regional Oral History Office (ROHO)
This site offers full-text transcripts of more than 55 fully-searchable interviews, with plans to add oral histories on Black Alumni at the University of California. Current offerings include “The University History Series” focusing on the Free Speech Movement, “The Suffragists Oral History Project,” including the words of twelve women active in the suffrage movement, “Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement,” “The Earl Warren Oral History Project,” and “Health Care, Science, and Technology,” featuring interviews regarding the medical response to the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco from 1981 to 1984.
Rutgers Oral History Archives of World War II
These oral history interviews record the memories of men and women who served overseas and on the home front during World War II. The archive contains more than 160 full-text interviews, primarily of Rutgers College alumni and Douglass College (formerly New Jersey College for Women) alumnae. Rutgers undergraduates conducted many of the interviews. The easily navigable site provides an alphabetical interview list with the name of each interviewee, date and place of interview, college of affiliation and class year, theater in which the interviewee served, and branch of service, when applicable. The list also provides “Description” codes that indicate the nature of the interview contents, including military occupations (such as infantry and artillery members, nurses, navy seamen, and engineer corps) and civilian occupations (such as air raid warden, student, clerical worker, and journalist). http://oralhistory.rutgers.edu/
A project of the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning of the City University of New York and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Designed for high school and college teachers of U.S. History survey courses, this site serves as a gateway to Web resources and offers unique teaching materials, first-person primary documents and threaded discussions on teaching U.S. history. http://historymatters.gmu.edu/
The Centre for Popular Memory
The Centre is based at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. We focus our activities both on and off campus and we are committed to using oral history, visual history and digital archiving to contribute to social development and democratization.
Library of Congress, American Folklife Center’s Caring for Your Collections offers
advice on the care of books, photos, videos, and other media in your collections. Here’s the page about audio/video materials: http://www.loc.gov/preserv/care/record.html
The Oral History Association’s Oral History Evaluation Guidelines. Everything you need to know about standards, ethics, protocols and general conventions of doing oral history.
Equipment and storage media resources. For archival quality CDs, buy gold dye HHBs or Mitsui brand. These are available at various on-line sources and at B&H Photo-Video-Pro Audio Corp [www.bhphotovideo.com], BSW [http://www.bswusa.com], Bradley Broadcast [http://www.bradleybroadcast.com], Sweetwater [http://www.sweetwater.com], and Full Compass [http://www.fullcompass.com])