India collects stories of Independence Movement

Arise Free India (AFI) a non-profit trust, is recording interviews with common people who participated in India’s freedom struggle, with an aim to prepare an oral archive of India’s Independence movement.  These oral histories are put on to the trust’s web site where they can be heard.  For full story click here

Ordinary People Tell the real Singapore Story

There are millions of stories from Singapore’s past – real-life moments that happened long, long ago, now in the Oral History Centre at the city’s National Archives.  It is Singapore’s alternative history. These are the kind of stories that you won’t find in the history books. Since its inception in 1979, almost 4,000 people – from rickshaw pullers to former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew – have submitted their own personal accounts on tape for the archives. The centre has more than 18,000 hours of precious material.  It is history brought to life through the spoken word.  For the full story click here.

1947 Partition Archive Preserves Traumatic Past

A new Berkeley-based non-profit group is collecting oral histories in video and audio format from those affected by the Partition of British India, the largest forced migration in human history.  14.5 million people were displaced in the violent partition of British India that split the country into Pakistan and India on August 15, 1947. What should have been a cause for celebration — independence from nearly a century of British rule — quickly turned into a nightmare for millions who were forced to migrate across the new border. Between 500,000 and 2 million people died in the process due to mob violence and extremists on both sides, although exact numbers are not known. For full story click here.

9/11 First Responders Memories To Be Made Part Of National Archives (USA)

9/11 Oral History Project’s 135 accounts of the attacks will become part of the permanent archives in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.  Elected officials and Sept. 11 first responders announced Monday that the Library of Congress has agreed to accept more than 135 oral accounts of the 9/11 attacks into its permanent archives.  For full story click here.

Columbia Center for Oral History Receives Two-Year Grant From Atlantic Philanthropies


The Columbia Center for Oral History (CCOH), New York, a unit of the University Libraries, has received a two-year, $627,000 grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies to support expansion of its core staffing and project capacity.  This funding builds upon a previous grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies, which enabled the Center, formerly known as the Oral History Research Office, to undertake new and innovative projects in the areas of human rights and constitution freedoms. New work will proceed in the areas of public health, philanthropies, and the arts. For the full story click here.

Memories of the Dunstan Decade

The ABC program “7.30”  has featured the oral history project that focuses on former South Australian Premier Don Dunstan who was one of the most personally flamboyant and politically progressive politicians of the last century. The Don Dunstan Foundation is a member of the Oral History Association of Australia and is recording interviews with a number of Labor identities.  See our Projects page for more information.  To watch the “7.30” story, click here.

Sixth Floor Museum, Dealey Plaza, Dallas Texas

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza received notice of a $40,000 award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support Shared Stories, an in-depth exploration of the use of oral histories in museum programming. Grant funds will allow the Museum to assemble a group of humanities scholars from a variety of disciplines to plan programs featuring the Museum’s growing Oral History Collection. The collection contains more than 850 recorded interviews with President Kennedy assassination eyewitnesses, law enforcement officers, members of the press and medical personnel from Parkland Hospital, motorcade spectators, White House officials, representatives of the local, national and international news media, as well as Dallas area school children, civil rights leaders, Peace Corps volunteers, astronauts and many others.  For the full story, click here.

StoryCorps’ Mobile Booth (USA)

StoryCorps’ Mobile Booth interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides participants through the interview process. At the end of each 40-minute recording session, participants receive a complimentary CD copy of their interview. With participant permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear. For full story of where the booth is visiting, click here.

National Life Stories – British Library

Since 1987, when Paul Thompson, the sociologist and oral historian, and Asa Briggs, the historian and provost of Worcester College, Oxford, set up National Life Stories “to record first-hand experiences of as wide a cross-section of present-day society as possible”, they have collected almost 2,500 lengthy tape recordings – typically 10 to 15 hours – of the lives and times of both the eminent and the ordinary.  For the full story click here.

Christchurch Earthquake Project

 The National Library in Wellington as New Zealand’s memory, is  storing, sorting and helping to make sense of great and terrible events.  Christchurch’s sequence of earthquakes must rank as the most terrible in NZ history.  Since September 2010, the National Library has been just one of the government agencies working quietly but steadily to amass an earthquake archive.  For full story click here.