Recent US War Veterans’ Oral Histories

The American West Center at the University of Utah has interviewed more than 500 veterans of World War II, plus smaller numbers from conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq, as part of the oral-history endeavor. But Matthew Basso, director of the American West Center and an Army vet, decided not to wait decades before recording oral histories from Utah vets returning from the latest wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  “It’s important,” Basso said. “We don’t believe Americans have a full sense of the complexities in the experience of war.” For full story, click here.

Teaching oral history in schools – U.K.

2012  sees two big events in Britain: the celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games. As a teacher you may already be thinking of how to bring these to life in your lesson planning, and one way of doing so would be through oral history.  Oral history is a wonderful way of encouraging pupils to engage with the wider community and offers the chance of learning new skills. Interviewing, editing audio, project management, web design, creating a display, writing a play, archiving – these are all skills that can be learnt through oral history. For full story which includes useful links, click here.

Iran’s “Oral History Centre”

According to the public relations department of Astan Quds Razavi’s libraries, museums and docs center, Abulfazl Hassan abadi the center’s manager of press and documents affairs said:” Enjoying 13 years of experience Astan Quds Razavi’s archive of “Oral history center” is the richest center of oral history in Iran.”  He added:” The center, one of the biggest oral history archives in Iran, enjoys varied interviews while the highest numbers of MA history students use it. Moreover it is the only center which uploads its interviews to its website and it is Iran’s most active oral history center.” For full story, click here.

2011 Flood Survival Stories

Battered but not Beaten compiled by Toowoomba writer Breanda Cross was launched in Toowoomba this week.  There are some amazing stories that have emerged from the floods of earlier this year; stories of survival, tales of persistence and determination in the face of insurmountable odds and some wonderful accounts of people’s kindness to their neighbours – especially the generosity of volunteers.There is an audio link on the site.  Click here for more.


Gaelic Athletic Association Oral History Project

Mike Cronin, academic director of the Dublin-based Boston College Centre for Irish Programmes, is directing BC Ireland’s four-year oral history project of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), which promotes Irish amateur sports and cultural activities internationally as well as throughout Ireland. As Cronin explains, to study the GAA — which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2009 — is to gain a valuable insight into the lives of Irish people.  For full story, click here.

Researcher’s to preserve Delhi’s oral history

Museums have for long recorded the tangible heritage of a city ; the bricks and mortar with which the city was built. But can a museum capture the idea of a city , or its memories ? Can a museum capture the life of a city in transition ? This is precisely what an ambitious new project sets out to do. In a possible first for India , a group of scholars , academicians and researchers from the Centre for Community Knowledge (CCK) at Ambedkar University Delhi have embarked on the Citizen’s Memory Project , a digital archive of the lives of the people of Delhi and the oral history of the capital.  For full story, click here.

Turkish young people speak out through oral history

Turkey is a country that has one of the youngest populations in the world, with approximately 20 million people between the ages of 15 and 30.  In other words, about 60 percent of the total population of Turkey is under the age of 30. Yet the unemployment rate for young people currently stands at 20 percent, almost twice the national average. Despite those facts, there are neither particular laws regarding issues involving young people nor specific policies geared toward solving their problems. Indeed, the period of youth has been seen as a “transitional period” in society.  Therefore, they put young people at the center of their research titled, “Young People Speak Out: The Contribution of Oral History to Facing the Past, Reconciliation and Democratization in Turkey.”  For full story, click here.

Museum of Modern Art, New York Oral History Project

The museum has collected oral histories for more than 20 years, but the 90 interviews in its archive primarily document “the machinations of the institution”, says Michelle Elligott, MoMA’s senior archivist, who is leading the institution’s Artist Oral History Initiative. The new project aims “to increase our understanding of artists’ ideas, intentions, working methods and specifically the materials and any sort of history or context that goes along with these products,” says Elligott. The project, which has a year’s initial funding thanks to an anonymous donor, began in the spring. If further funding is secured, the museum hopes to interview more artists on its 30-strong shortlist. For full story click here.