Oral History Section

The Oral History Section of the Society of American Archivists is composed of members of the Society and others who are interested in or are actively engaged in conducting oral history interviews and/or teach oral history methodology. The Oral History Section provides a forum for news, for discussion of issues and developments, and for establishing and maintaining communication and cooperation with other professional organizations.

Recent News & Announcements

The Baylor University Institute for Oral History (BUIOH) is proud to announce the launch of its newest project website, "Survivors of Genocide." From May 2015 through October 2016, the Institute conducted fourteen oral histories with survivors of the genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda/Burundi, Bosnia, and Darfur. This work was contracted through a grant from the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission in order for survivors who now live in Texas to tell their stories of escaping the horrors of their homelands and finding a new life in the United States.
In preparation for the upcoming SAA Oral History Section election, a full slate of candidates has stepped forward to take part in the election for new leadership positions. Each candidate's bio and statement of interest can be viewed at this link on the Oral History Section's microsite.
Louisville, Kentucky has a rich musical heritage, including an underground scene that influenced the sound of not only punk, indie, and hardcore, but also popular music regionally, nationally and internationally. In 2013, archivists in the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections (ASC) launched the Louisville Underground Music Archive (LUMA) project to document this important slice of Louisville's musical culture.
The Montana Historical Society Research Center has received a $4,500 grant from Humanities Montana to conduct a series of oral history interviews designed to begin capturing the history of modern craft brewing and breweries in Montana. Over the next two years, the project will gather oral histories that focus on the industry, beginning with the reemergence of microbreweries in the state in the 1980’s.
Oral histories serve as a window into the inner workings of Congress, granting unique access to campaigns, personal relationships, and behind-the-scenes details of the legislative process. This project highlights how ideas about gender influenced the working environment for women in Congress, as well as the often overlooked history of the congressional workforce.
The Flying Voices Oral History Project: In-flight and Ground Experiences of Braniff International Airways captures experiences and perspectives from former employees of the North Texas-based airline. Braniff shaped the aviation industry of the 1960s. The purpose of Flying Voices is to create a resource for future generations and scholars.
Archivists and special collections librarians across the country are employing myriad approaches to community documentation, ranging from crowdsourcing and scanning events to social archives, digital memory projects and documentary films. Archives Alive: Expanding Engagement with Public Library Archives and Special Collections (ALA Editions; 2015) is a book designed to highlight emerging trends in archival programming in the public library setting.
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