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Links to Other Useful Oral History Websites:


The Oral History Association

The OHA was established in 1966, and 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 a 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 publication, nonprint media productions, teaching, and oral history projects.

Miller Center of Public Affairs

The Miller Center gathers new knowledge about the American presidency and our government, shares that knowledge with scholars, officials and the public, and contributes to the contemporary debate about public policy.


East Midlands Oral History Archive

The East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA), based at the Centre for Urban History is a three year lottery-funded project which will create the first large-scale archive of oral history recordings in the East Midlands.

In 1974 the Board of Directors of the American Bar Foundation authorized the organization of an Oral History Program for the purpose of assembling a historical record about the legal profession and the organized bar. During the following two years Olavi Maru of the American Bar Foundation conducted over fifty interviews with a group of former and current officers of the American Bar Association that included Lewis Powell, Dallin Oaks, Geoffrey Hazard, Jr., and A. James Casner. Many of the interviewees had been active in ABA affairs as early as the 1930s and witnessed watershed events not only in ABA history, but American legal history in general.

The Stonington Fishing Oral History Oral History Project at Mystic Seaport

This project has preserved a spoken and visual record of a way of life. The collection of interviews with, and photographs of fishermen, members of their families and others associated with the fisheries, documents elements of vital regional industry, and forms a permanent record of the recalled memory of the region's commercial fishery throughout much of the Twentieth Century. The could not have been accomplished without the support, good spirit and cooperation of the fishing people of Stonington. Through their experiences we can learn much about the fortunes of America's fishing industries.

The Project is a collection of taped and transcribed interviews of individuals who have helped to make or witnessed the history of Greenwich since 1890. Interviews of the widest interest are published in book form for the Library's reference and circulating collections, and for sale. Three interviews have also been released as audio books. To date, the collection contains more than 600 interviews and 125 books.
Begun in 1973, and co-sponsored by the Greenwich Library and the Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich, the Project was the Library's contribution to the nation's Bicentennial celebration. Since 1977, it has been a permanent committee of the Friends of the Greenwich Library.
To access titles in the Oral History Collection, visit the Greenwich Library Home Page. Interviews are listed in the catalog by title, narrator's name, and subject(s). (You must have telnet capability to access the on-line catalog).
All the interviews have been transcribed and indexed, and most are kept in the Library's Local History Reference section, where they are available to the public. Tapes may be audited by appointment. A cumulative index is also available. More than 125 of the interviews have been edited, illustrated and published as books for general circulation and sale.
The Oral History Project office is on the Lower Level of the Greenwich Library, 101 West Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT, 06830. Office hours are 10 AM to 2 PM on Monday through Thursday. Summer hours are by appointment. The Oral History office telephone number is 203 622-7945.

Oral History Interviews in the Billy Graham Center Archives

A portion of the oral history interviews in the Billy Graham Center Archives have been transcribed and a portion of those transcribed are available on this gopher.
There is a separate directory for each oral history collection and that directory includes a biography of the interviewee, a list of the topics covered on the tapes (called an index), a scope and content description of other materials in the collection (if there are any), a location record for the tapes, and the actual transcripts. The index is geared to cassette copies of the interviews and since each side of the cassette is normally shorter than the reel of the original tape, usually the index for an interview is divided into "side 1", "side 2" and in many cases "side 3". This division has no relevance to the transcripts. Note: This gopher contains only the transcripts and not any other documents, even if they are mentioned in the scope and content description.
Most of the interviews in the Archives are with foreign missionaries, although a few are with other types of Christian workers. We have tried to put a sampling of our most frequently used transcripts on this gopher.

Chicago Architects Oral History Project

The Chicago Architects Oral History Project was begun in 1983 under the auspices of the Art Institute's Department of Architecture to document the life experiences of architects who shaped the urban environment in Chicago. It is intended not only to fill an existing void in the literature but to go beyond the facts to explore motivations and influences, behind-the-scenes stories, and personal reflections. The current collection of fifty-five narratives contains comprehensive life-review documents as well as shorter focused interviews. Included in the collection are groupings of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill partners and associates, students of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and architects who defy classification. These oral histories explore the development of Chicago's architecture and planning from the 1890s to the 1990s. A cumulative index is available for easy access to individual transcripts.
Rochester Oral History Project

The Rochester Oral History Project will examine the cultural adaptation of the various ethnic communities in Rochester. The project is directed by Professor Larry Hudson, who is particularly interested in examining the impact of land ownership on family structure as African-Americans moved from slavery to freedom; plantation to town; town to city; and from south to north.

The US Social Security Administration's History Archive

The U.S. Social Security Administration's (SSA) history site on the internet (http://www.ssa.gov/history/history.html) contains information about SSA's collection of oral histories relating to Social Security and Medicare. In addition to a catalog of SSA's oral histories, multi-media transcripts of selected interviews are available online. The oral histories can be accessed at: (http://www.ssa.gov/history/orallist.html). Information about the SSA History Archives and general information for researchers is found at: (http://www.ssa.gov/history/histwelc.html).

The Oral History Research Office at Columbia University

This office has a collection of audiotaped and transcribed oral interviews that preserve the knowledge, experiences, and recollections of leaders in many fields of history, politics, and culture. While the focus is national political history, there are also collections on China, Argentina, and the Middle East. The archive holds approximately 7,000 interviews, filling 7,000,000 pages of transcript. The interviews are archived in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. To register to read the interviews, you must first come to the Oral History Research Office. The staff of the Office is available for consultation on faculty, student, and community service oral history projects.

Yale School of Music, Oral History, American Music

Oral History American Music is the only ongoing project in the field of music dedicated to the collection and preservation of oral and video memoirs directly in the voices of those who make our music history. Founded in 1971, the archive has become an extensive repository of unique source materials on 20th century American music. Users of the collection come from academic and non-academic fields. Many publications, papers, dissertations, radio and television productions derive from these testimonies, among them: Charles Ives Remembered: An Oral History by Vivian Perlis, the two volume autobiography of Aaron Copland, books on Duke Ellington and Paul Hindemith, and documentary films for public televisions on Copland, Eubie Blake, and John Cage. Transcripts of interviews are available for purchase or through Inter-Library Loan; tapes may be listened to in the offices of Oral History, American Music.

The Bland County History Archives are maintained by the students of Rocky Gap High School in Rocky Gap,Virginia. It consists of over 200 oral interviews, cemetery catalogues, hundreds of photographs, maps, and artifacts. The collection is housed in the former Honaker Church building which is the oldest extant building in Rocky Gap. The holdings are continuously being added to.The goal of the archives is to preserve the stories of the people of Bland County and present them to the public in a variety of ways. Many of the stories are the stories of the last people to have been born and raised in a real log cabin back up a holler or on top of a mountain. These are the unique stories of Appalachia as told by its people.

The Bland County History Archives

The Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University lists the oral histories on file in alphabetical sequence by name of interviewee. Most of the interviews have hard copies, ranging from transcripts, and digests, to notes. Usually, upon completion of an interview, notes were compiled on persons and bands mentioned in the talk. These notes are rough outlines, of only limited value to the researcher. Digests represent a more coherent, albeit abbreviated version of the interview. All the highlights are present, while the casual remarks have been left out. Most of the hard copies available are in the digest format. Transcripts are word-for-word renderings of the interview, allowing a patron to read along as the tape is played.

The University of Maryland Library's audio holdings consist mainly of oral histories and transcription discs. There are nearly 1000 oral histories, interviews, and speeches (most of which have transcripts) by such notables as Norman Corwin, Edgar Bergen, Niles Trammell, Frank E. Mullen, Rosel H. Hyde, and Leonard H. Goldenson. The Library also maintains the Westinghouse News Collection (1958-1982), which consists mainly of raw feeds from the Washington bureau. The Library houses 3300 transcription discs, including over 1000 commercials in the Radio Advertising Bureau Collection, programming dating from 1925, V-Discs, and news reports.

The University of Maryland's Audio Libriary

Regional History Project at the University of California

The Regional History Project at the University Library of the University of California, Santa Cruz has been documenting the history of the Central Coast of California and the institutional history of UC Santa Cruz since 1963, through oral history. Their web site includes the complete catalog of their collection, a photo gallery of historical images of the Central Coast of California, Oral History resources, and links to other oral history sites on the Internet.

The Regional Oral History Office at The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley had its beginnings in the work of the historian of the West for whom the library is named, Hubert Howe Bancroft. Bancroft recognized that missing from his vast collection of books, journals, maps, and manuscripts on western North America were the living memories of many of the participants in the development of California and the West. In the 1860s he launched an ambitious project to interview and create autobiographies of a diverse group of pioneer Westerners and the resulting volumes of "Dictations" continue to provide valuable primary source for historians.
The Regional Oral History Office (ROHO) was established in 1954 to continue the Bancroft tradition by preserving, through carefully researched, tape-recorded, and transcribed interviews, a historical record of our times that would otherwise be lost to future scholars. The office has added more than 1250 oral history transcripts to The Bancroft Library, documenting diverse aspects of twentieth century history in the Bay Area, California, and the nation. Major subject areas of ROHO interviews include law and government, resources and the environment, and science and technology. These collections are supplemented by the Library's Donated Oral Histories Collection, which preserves and makes accessible for scholarly research interviews recorded by other organizations or individuals.

The Regional Oral History Office at UC Berkeley

South Dakota Oral History Center

The Institute of American Indian Studies and the South Dakota Oral History Center at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion administers one of the largest oral history collections of its kind in the United States with archives containing nearly 5,000 recorded interviews. Established in 1995, the work of the Institute of American Indian Studies includes organizing campus programs to promote education and awareness of American Indian culture, issues, and problems; assisting USD efforts to recruit and retain American Indian students, faculty, and staff; encouraging increased levels of research on American Indian life; and strengthening relations with tribes, tribal colleges, and other appropriate American Indian organizations in the state and region.

Based on the work of the Michigan Oral History Council, founded in 1979, the Michigan Oral History Association holds conferences, publishes a newsletter, conducts oral history workshops and sponsors an oral history awards program. We are a state affiliate of the OHA.

The Michigan Oral History Association

The National Library of Australia

This Oral History Collection contains tape recordings and transcripts which fall into three main categories: interviews with eminent Australians in fields where the library has special strengths(eg Commonwealth politics, bureaucracy, the arts and intellectual life); interviews with members of groups; and folklore, including song, dance music, recitations, and stories.

Access to the material is controlled by clearances obtained from interviewees and informants - in some cases material is restricted for very long periods, for example, up to 100 years, and in other cases, access is immediate. Because audio tape is a fragile medium, requiring special preservation treatment, there is often a time lag between the acquisition of recordings and their eventual availability for research use. Access can be expedited by paying an audio reproduction fee. The National Library holds the papers of many interviewees in the Manuscript Collection.
Provided access clearances permit, oral history materials can be accessed through the Oral History Reading Room or on inter-library loan via the Library's Document Supply Services. Copies of tapes and transcripts can also be purchased. Many of the recordings which are publicly available are catalogued and listed on the Library's On-line Public Access Catalogue (OPAC).

The Oral History Collection of the JS Battye Library located on the third floor, consists of recorded interviews with people who are Western Australian by birth or migration. The earliest interviews are with people born in the 1870s. Included in the collection, though not oral history by definition, are sound recordings of radio broadcasts, conferences and meetings, talks, folklore and poetry readings.

JS Battye Library

The British Library National Sound Archive

In recent years oral history has emerged as a powerful means of recording and preserving the unique memories and life experiences of people whose stories might otherwise have been lost. It enables us to eavesdrop on events, feelings , attitudes and ways of life which have been hidden from history, and thus create a more vivid and accurate picture of our past.
In museums, oral history can enliven static displays and more directly engage visitors in their own past. Reminiscence techniques are also used in older people's residential homes and in the community, both to entertain and encourage a sense of self-worth. Oral history also now has a firm place in the National Curriculum for History in schools and as an interactive and shared experience offers children a rare chance to question history face to face whilst bringing generations together.
The NSA collects audio and video taped interviews as well as carrying out its own programme of life story recordings. As the national centre for oral history in Britain, we provide advice and training in oral history methods, and maintain close contact with oral history groups in Britain and abroad.

The U.S. Naval Institute's Oral History program exists for the purpose of preserving and making available the recollections of Navy and Coast Guard personnel. The Naval Institute tape-records interviews with people who have made history in the naval profession. The interviews are then transcribed, annotated, indexed, and bound. Since the inception of the program in 1969, nearly 200 bound volumes have been completed, and interviews have been done to produce dozens more. Typically, the format calls for an entire life history of a career Navy man or woman. The discussion of various tours of duty during the course of a career generally covers a wide range of topics and personalities. There have also been some specialized projects involving early WAVE officers, the Polaris ballistic missile submarine program, Vietnam War prisoners of war, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, and the first black naval officers.
The library of bound volumes of transcripts is available for research at Preble Hall in the U.S. Naval Institute's history, reference, and preservation division. The memoirs in the collection have been indexed by subject so that researchers may obtain individual pages of transcripts dealing with their specific topic.

US Naval Institute Oral History Program

University of Louisville

The Center's collection dates to 1968, when the first interviews were conducted by Donald Anderson, then director of the University's Photographic Archives. To supplement the Photographic Archives collections, Anderson interviewed photographers such as Frank Shook of Caufield and Shook Photographers. In the same era, the University's Department of History created an Oral History Center under the direction of Professor Charles Berry. Berry received the Anderson interviews and began a project to document the Louisville Orchestra. Carl G. Ryant succeeded Berry as director of the center.
With the establishment of the University Archives in 1973, University Archivist William J. Morison initiated interviews with faculty, former students, and administrators in the UofL community. The efforts of the Archives and Department of History were united in 1978 in the current Oral History Center, with co-directors from the history department and archives.

The Association for Diplomatic Studies, a non-profit, tax-exempt organization was established in 1986 to enhance the training of foreign affairs personnel and to instill in the public a greater appreciation for our diplomatic history. The Association's Foreign Affairs Oral History Program was established in 1988 and is housed in the Lauinger Library of Georgetown University. The collection is comprised of oral histories taken from a number of projects, all concerning the experiences of those employed in diplomacy and consular affairs and their families.
The oral history collection includes interviews done under the auspices of the Foreign Service History Center of George Washington University, which was amalgamated into the Foreign Service History Program, the Foreign Service Family Project, the Women Ambassadors' Project, the United States Information Agency Alumni Association Project, the Senior Officers' Project and others.
The majority of these interviews were conducted by retired Foreign Service personnel on a volunteer basis, directed by the Oral History Program. The interviews are unclassified, and unless so marked are open for use by researchers. Most interviews have been transcribed and then returned to the person interviewed for editing. The transcript deposited in the Lauinger Library's Special Collections Division is the edited version, and is not a word for word rendition of the cassette tape. Tapes are available for auditing, if desired.
As a practical matter, the editing generally represents little substantive change, with those interviewed usually correcting dates, names and other information that may have been missed during an interview. The final transcripts were not professionally edited and any spelling or other mistakes can be blamed on the Oral History Program, not on the person interviewed.

Foreign Affairs Oral History Project

The Vietnam Veterans Oral History and Folklore Project

The Vietnam Veterans Oral History and Folklore Project is engaged in an ongoing undertaking to collect, preserve and make better known the folklore, especially the folksongs, of the Vietnam War.
To most of us, the Vietnam War has a rock and roll soundtrack. All the songs of the sixties were part of life in the combat zone; troops listened to music in the bush and in the bunkers. But there were other songs in Vietnam, too--the songs made by the American men and women, civilian and military, who served there, for themselves.
Some of these were part of the traditional occupational folklore of the military. The pilots who flew off the carriers and out of Thailand sang songs that were known by aviators in the two World Wars and the Korean War; the grunts knew songs which were sung by their grandfathers in the trenches in France. Other songs grew directly out of the Vietnam experience.

Project for a Netherlands Oral History Archive on Indonesia 1940-1962

Since August 1994 a group of Dutch historians has taken the initiative to constitute a national archive of interviews with Dutchmen about their life experiences during the late colonial period (1940-1962). Recently this has resulted in the foundation of the Stichting Mondelinge Geschiedenis Indonesi‚ (Foundation for the Oral History of Indonesia).
Staff members from the Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology (KITLV), the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation (RIOD), the International Institute of Social History (IISG), the History Department of the Royal Dutch Army Leiden and Utrecht participate in this Foundation. Chairperson is professor dr. Heather Sutherland of Amsterdam Free University. The coordinator is dr. Luc Nagtegaal.

Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Oral History Department collects and produces video and audiotaped testimonies of Holocaust survivors, rescuers, liberators, resistance fighters, prosecutors, perpetrators, and bystanders. The mission of the department is to document and preserve Holocaust testimonies as primary students, researchers, teachers, and filmmakers to "meet" the people who experienced or witnessed or perpetrated Nazi genocidal policies and crimes of the Nazis and their allies and collaborators.
The Oral History Archive contains more than 2,900 interviews, mostly in English. Some 300 of the videotaped interviews are of Polish Catholics, Roma and Sinti ("Gypsies"), political prisoners, homosexuals, resistance fighters, rescuers, liberators, and postwar prosecutors of Nazi crimes. There are more than 120 Hebrew-language interviews of Jewish survivors who emigrated to Israel, and more than 80 interviews of Jehovah's Witnesses who survived Nazi persecution.
The collection includes over 130 audiotaped Interviews from the Museum's I.D. Card Project and more than 30 interviews prepared for the Permanent Exhibition's "Testimony" film. Edited segments of some of the tapes are incorporated into the Center, and public programs.
Although approximately 400 of the interviews were produced by the Museum, most of the holdings are the result of exchanges and collections agreements with various Holocaust centers. The collection also includes a large number of individually donated oral testimonies.
The Oral History collection is expanding rapidly. Collections agreements are pending or being negotiated with almost every relevant institution in the United States, and agreements with collections in Canada, Germany, France, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, South America, and Australia are now being established.



University of Connecticut         Special Collections at the Dodd Center     Oral History Office
Whetten Graduate Center
438 Whitney Avenue Ext, U-1132

Tel: (860)486-5245