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Oral History: Web Resources

This collaborative guide features the oral history resources created by students, faculty and the Philadelphia community.

Web Guides for doing Oral History

Oral History in the Digital Age - "Oral History in the Digital Age (OHDA) is a product of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership project and a collaboration among the Michigan State University Museum; Michigan State University Digital Humanities Center, Matrix; the American Folklife Center (AFC/LOC), the Library of Congress; the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH); the American Folklore Society (AFS); the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries; and the Oral History Association. For more information on the development and organization of the project, please visit the OHDA Project Site.

The Rutgers Oral History Archives - "records the personal narratives of:

~  Men and women (either New Jersey residents and/or Rutgers University alumni, faculty or staff) who served on the home front and overseas during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and the nation's most recent conflicts

~ People with a story to tell about some aspect of New Jersey's proud history, its towns and cities, its diverse populations, organizations within the Garden State and/or social/cultural movements and events

~ Men and women who helped shape the history of Rutgers University as students, alumni, faculty, staff and in other roles"


Goin' North: An Oral History of Migration to Philadelphia Project

About Going North

"The year 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Migration, one of the most significant historical transformations of the twentieth century. Between the First World War and early 1970s more than six and a half million African Americans fled the American South for northern and then western cities in a great mass exodus that transformed America and helped lay the ground work for the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. 

In fall 2014, Janneken Smucker and Charles Hardy taught “Digital Storytelling and the Great Migration to Philadelphia,” a combined course teaming West Chester University graduate students enrolled in Professor Smucker’s graduate seminar in digital history with undergraduate Honors College students and history majors enrolled in Professor Hardy’s special topics course.

Over the course of the semester, students worked closely with twenty-two oral history interviews with southern Blacks who migrated to Philadelphia in the early 1900s and Black Philadelphians who witnessed their arrival. First, the students created a digital archive of more than 400 images, newspaper articles, and other sources from national and regional collections, including previously unpublished images and ephemera from the Charles Blockson Afro-American Collection and Special Collections at Temple University Libraries and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania."

Oral History Association: Principles and Best Practices

Oral History Association

"Oral history refers both to a method of recording and preserving oral testimony and to the product of that process. It begins with an audio or video recording of a first person account made by an interviewer with an interviewee (also referred to as narrator), both of whom have the conscious intention of creating a permanent record to contribute to an understanding of the past. A verbal document, the oral history, results from this process and is preserved and made available in different forms to other users, researchers, and the public. A critical approach to the oral testimony and interpretations are necessary in the use of oral history."

You can review their suggested "Principles and Best Practices" on their website.

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