Since this is an oral historian origin story, I feel I need to begin this post with a bit of a confession. Even though I earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Baylor University, it was not until the summer of 2011, the term before I was to begin my graduate work at Baylor in the Museum Studies program
As students in Columbia University’s OHMA program we are often urged to consider Oral History projects that not only serve to archive interviews for future use, but that “do something.”
For Manissa Maharawal, the struggle for housing justice is personal. When her own father got displaced from his apartment in Prospect Heights—his home since moving from India to the States some thirty years before, in which he raised his family—she was struck by his unstoppable urge to tell the story over and over again.
This year, we have focused on people and institutions using oral history in innovative ways, discussing the challenges they face and their motivations for using oral history to make positive changes in the world.
In their substantial essay from OHR 43.1 on the peculiarities of queer oral history, authors Kevin Murphy, Jennifer Pierce, and Jason Ruiz suggest some of the ways that queer methodologies are useful and important for oral history projects.
The current issue of the OHR invites diverse authors to share their experiences listening to and learning from LGBTQ lives. This week, we bring you a short interview with one of the contributors, Marion Wasserbauer, whose article “‘That’s What Music Is About—It Strikes a Chord’: Proposing a Queer Method of Listening to the Lives and Music of LGBTQs” suggests that music is an integral tool for listening to a narrator’s voice.
With the summer issue of the Oral History Review just around the corner, we are bringing you a sneak peak of what’s to come. Issue 43.1 is our LGBTQ special issue, featuring oral history projects and stories from around the country.
When I joined UC Berkeley’s Oral History Center (OHC) in late 2013, I quickly began work designing, planning, and running the Advanced Oral History Summer Institute (SI), which is organized around the life cycle of the interview. Because leading the SI is one of my most important roles at the OHC, it’s hard for me to be objective about its value (I think our week is a robust resource and provides excellent formal training).
I was introduced to oral history while completing my Master’s in Library Science at the University of North Texas. I needed to fulfill my practicum requirement, and I took a chance on an advertisement to intern at NASA-Johnson Space Center. (I grew up wanting to be an astronaut, but in high school I met AP Calculus and that dream was indefinitely deferred.)
Oral history has always been concerned with preserving the voices of the voiceless, and new technologies are enabling oral historians to preserve and present these memories in new and exciting ways. Audio projects can now turn to mapping software to connect oral histories with physical locations, bringing together voices and places.
I am a curator at a mid-sized museum in Texas. My job includes overseeing the oral history program, which was founded in 1970, two years after the museum opened. Today, the collection is home to over 1,000 oral histories on topics ranging from the ethnic groups of Texas, Texas military history, local history, traditional folk arts, immigration, and farming and ranching.
With Valentine’s Day barely a week behind us, we want to celebrate our love of oral history. To help us out, we asked Dana Gerber-Margie to tell us how she ended up in the audio world and why she loves oral history.
Two weeks ago, we published the first part of an exchange between Henry Greenspan and Tim Cole. Below, they wrap up their conversation, turning to the intellectual difficulties of taking context into consideration. The issues they raise should be of interest to all oral historians, so we want to hear from you!
Regular readers of this blog will be more than familiar with the work of both Tim Cole and Henry Greenspan. Their work offers new and powerful ways of understanding the role of space and time in oral history process and production.
As you may have heard, Wisconsinites love the people who can quickly turn our spoken words into written text. Transcriptionists are the unsung heroes of the oral history world, helping to make sure the incredible audio information stored in archives across the globe is accessible to the largest audience possible.
In the spirit of Christmas (and in honor of our all-time-favorite daytime talk show host), our present to you is a list of some of our favorite things from 2015. We hope you enjoy reading our list as much as we did writing it.