Online Resources

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.
  • StoryCorps
    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

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
    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

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.