What is Oral History?
What Oral History Can Do: Oral histories are primary sources that provide a spoken firsthand account from a participant or witness of a particular event or time period. They are one of the oldest methods of documenting history. Oral history interviews provide us with a unique opportunity to learn about the past from the people who lived it in their own words.
Personal history shared through the documentation of individual papers, artifacts, photographs, or oral history interviews is different than a secondary resource like a textbook or journal article. Oral history interviews are personal recollections of past events and experiences that are unique to the individuals being interviewed. These interviews can help us better understand larger social contexts and individual experiences within them when studying history.
Oral History Interviews and Identity Class Activity
For your class project, find and access an oral history interview from Special Collections and Archives in order to learn about the personal identity of the individual from the interview, and the historical, societal, and personal contexts in which they lived.
Social Justice and Public Service Announcement Class Activity