Oral History Resources

Preserve Your Memories with Oral History Interviews

Many organizations around the country record oral history interviews for the sake of history.  And, there are also many people who record interviews on their own for their families.  Recording an oral history interview is one of the best ways to document an individual's experiences so future generations can learn and benefit from them.  The Oral History Section would like to offer support for your oral history project with the following resources.  

Oral History Association's Principles and Best Practices

The Oral History Association, in both its national and regional professional organizations, brings together practitioners from a variety of communities, backgrounds, and academic and professional fields, including many who may not label themselves as oral historians. This suite of documents (updated 2018, addendum added 2019) provides the guiding priniciples of oral history, keeping in mind the diverse practices of those involved in the collection, interpretation, use and preservation of oral history. 

Preservation Week

Preservation Week, an initiative from the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association for Library Collections & Techincal Services (ALCTS), offers preservation resources to the general public through their library communities to raise awareness of how we can work together to preserve our personal and shared collections. Resources, including those on oral history, can be found on the Preservation Week Community Highlights page and the Preservation Resources page.  

Oral History in the Digital Age

For small and large organizations who are planning to start an oral history project or already have oral history collections.  The site includes a Getting Started section, video essays with leading oral historians, practical advice on equipment, best practices guidelines, and much more.

The Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress

The Veterans History Project offers the opportunity for military families to have their veteran’s memories preserved for future generations at the Library of Congress.  They have step by step guidelines including the VHP Fieldkit Companion Video that anyone can follow: from interviewing the veteran(s) in your life, deciding on supporting materials to include (photos, letters, etc.), and sending it all off to the Library of Congress.

StoryCorps

StoryCorps provides Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.  Among their projects is the Military Voices Initiative which aims to collect the stories of post-9/11 veterans, active-duty service members, and their families.