The usage, creation, and history of oral history materials.
Teaching About Oral History
- Historical Voices
A significant, fully searchable online database of 20th century spoken-word collections; the first large-scale repository of its kind. Teaching with Audio Artifacts instructs teachers on how to incorporate audio into history lessons. Includes lesson plans.
- History Matters
Linda Shopes' "Making Sense of Oral History" suggests issues to consider when analyzing and interpreting oral history interviews.
Lesson Plans About or Using Oral History
- History Channel (PDF)
Download this PDF file as a resource on developing interview questions, and project ideas on how to use oral histories once they have been conducted.
- Library of Congress American Memory Project, Using Oral History: Lesson Overview
Teacher resources, student lessons, and transcriptions of oral histories from the Library of Congress that can be used for oral history student projects.
- PBS Teacher Source
The education site for PBS television provides lesson plans using oral history projects related to PBS shows on immigration, the Chicano soldier experience in Vietnam, and New York city history at the turn of the 20th century.
- Smithsonian Institute Folklife and Oral History Guide
Plans on how to conduct oral histories in order to preserve folklife and cultural heritage. The curriculum offers several good forms and a list of questions to use when interviewing community elders.
Developed by Sound Portraits Productions in collaboration with the Library of Congress and public radio stations nationwide to record personal histories across the country, StoryCorps offers a do-it-yourself guide to interviewing on their website.
- Tell Me Your Stories
Developed by the Living Legacies Historical Foundation out of Los Angeles, California, this site provides a curriculum on conducting oral histories with a family elder.
Sample Student Oral History Projects
- Best of History Websites: Oral History
This site includes an extensive list of student oral history projects on the web.
- The Whole World Was Watching: An Oral History of 1968
A joint project between South Kingstown High School and Brown University's Scholarly Technology Group. The website includes a glossary, timeline, and bibliography of references for 1968.
- What Kids Can Do: Student Work /Oral Histories
This site documents young people's lives, learning, and work, and their partnerships with adults both in and out of school. Student oral history projects with their elders are described and transcripts are included.
Organizations/Associations with Oral History Information
- Advanced Placement
Search "oral history" under the teacher resources section of this website to browse reviews of several oral history publications.
- Chicago Historical Society: Studs Terkel website
Provides information about the pre-eminent American oral historian, Studs Terkel and educational resources for teachers.
Foxfire is a not-for-profit, educational and literary organization based in Rabun County, Georgia that promotes a sense of place and appreciation of local people, community, and culture as essential educational tools, and the site lists professional development courses that train teachers on how to conduct oral histories.
- National Council for the Social Studies
This site posts professional development opportunities for learning more about oral history, including sessions on oral history at their annual national conference.
Oral Histories of Artists
- Cultural Arts Resources for Students and Teachers
CARTS (Cultural Arts Resources for Teachers and Students) is a project of City Lore, a cultural organization dedicated to the documentation, presentation, and preservation of New York City's living cultural heritage. The site lists professional development courses on oral history and resources on folk arts.
- Getty Research Institute. On the Record: Art in LA 1945-1980
The goal of this project is to document the history of advanced art in Los Angeles in the second half of the twentieth century. The Research Institute is conducting an extensive cycle of oral histories.
- Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project
The Iowa Women Artists Oral History Project records and preserves the voices of women visual artists in Iowa.
- Jazz Oral History Index
The site contains a listing of interviews available in the Hogan Jazz Archive of Tulane University. Most interviews have hard copies, ranging from transcripts and digests to notes.
- Yale University Oral History American Music
Oral History American Music (OHAM) is an ongoing project in the field of music dedicated to the collection and preservation of oral and video memoirs in the voices of the American composers of the 20th century.
Resources for Contacting Artists to Interview
- Americans for the Arts
This national arts organization lists local organizations by state.
- Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education (KCAAEN)
Provides a list of state arts education advocacy groups that may be able to connect you with local artists and arts organizations.
- Baylor University's Institute for Oral History
Contains an Introduction to Oral History that goes through the basics of how to conduct oral histories, ethical and legal matters, and interview dos and don'ts. Advanced training includes organizing oral history projects and case studies.
- Columbia University, Oral History Research Office
Online oral history projects including interviews with notable New Yorkers on September 11. The Research Office also offers summer programs for teachers.
- Indiana University, Center for the Study of History and Memory
Lists of web resources for teaching oral history and memory in the classroom. It also includes sample online oral history projects and oral history lesson plans.
- Louisiana State University Williams Center for Oral History
Downloadable publications include Oral History on the Web: A Primer.
- UCLA Oral History program
Oral history documents including a bibliography with resources on how to teach oral history in the classroom.
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Writing Center
A downloadable handout on how to conduct oral history projects and how to use the material for an essay.
Periodicals That Often Have Articles About Teaching Oral History
- Organization of American Historians Magazine of History
Established in 1985, each quarterly issue of the OAH Magazine of History focuses on a theme or topic of recent scholarship in American history and provides readers with informative articles, lesson plans, and current historiography.
- Social Education
The official journal of National Council for the Social Studies. Published seven times annually, Social Education is a benefit of membership in NCSS.
- Social Studies Review
Official journal of the California Council for the Social Studies provides articles for teachers and anyone with a general interest in history or social science education.
- Teaching History: A Journal of Methods
Teaching History began in 1976 with the goal of providing history teachers at all levels with the best and newest teaching ideas for their classrooms.
- The History Teacher
This periodical is devoted to the teaching of history in the secondary and higher education classroom. Published quarterly, it features practical and insightful professional analyses of traditional and innovative teaching techniques.
- The Oral History Review
The Oral History Association, established in 1966, seeks to bring together all persons interested in oral history as a way of collecting human memories. With an international membership, the OHA serves a broad and diverse audience. Local historians, librarians and archivists, students, journalists, teachers, and academic scholars from many fields have found that the OHA provides both professional guidance and collegial environment for sharing information.
- The Social Studies
A peer-reviewed journal written by K-12 classroom teachers, teacher educators, and curriculum administrators. Special sections provide teachers with a forum for sharing instructional ideas and offer commentary and perspectives on current issues in social studies.