Oral history program

Transcriptions and recordings in Murphy Library

Tell your story; Listen to others 

Oral history generally refers to the collection of personal stories of the people who have observed history, regardless of the medium used to record those accounts.  As a scholarly topic, oral history includes the study of the methodology and meaning of this approach, as opposed to the written, document-based history pursued in other fields.  

Oral History at UWL has a number of significant resources and active or completed projects, undertaken by students and faculty alike. More than 3,000 hours of recorded interview are available in Murphy Library.

Completed oral history projects are made available to researchers and the public through Murphy Library Special Collections, and can be accessed widely through the Area Research Center network.  The Mississippi River Valley project collected interviews with area residents about the personal experiences and environmental history of the river.  Other projects include stories from the All-American Girls Professional League Oral History Collection, LGBT interviews, interviews with educators about UWL history, and the Gays Mills project interviews.  Recordings and (many times) transcripts or these projects and more can be found by searching the Murphy Library Catalog.

Statement of Consent

Consent is important in oral histories. The oral histories that the Oral History Program and Special Collections in Murphy Library make available reflect a number of forms of consent: written, verbal, and implied through the narrator's understanding of the interview's use for scholarly work. Equally important is the researcher's responsibility to use the words and sentiments of the interviewee in context and in an ethical fashion, and when necessary, to seek out further consent. 9/19/2022

If you'd like to learn more, contact us at: oralhistory@uwlax.edu.