What's new, new media?

Oral History is an account of events or experiences communicated from one person to another in a storytelling form. Oral History can take a variety of forms in new media: audio or video files, transcribed interviews, or personal narratives. Some events promiently featured in new media oral history include World War II, September 11th, Hurricane Katrina, and the Civil Rights Movement.

Story Corps is one of the more prominent oral history sites on the web, and it features a variety of subjects and storytellers.

Other Oral History sites:

  • Sonics: Cinderella Story is here to take a break from all this doom and gloom and take a ride through a turbulent season with those scrappy 86-87 Seattle SuperSonics... in their own words!
  • Frontline: The Gulf War is a PBS project to document the first conflict in Iraq
  • Rebuilding Madison Avenue is the chronicle of two brothers who purchase a vacant crackhouse in Northwest Baltimore, live in it and attempt to establish a police sub-station in its first floor.
  • The Shoah Foundation is a collection of the oral histories of 52,000 Holocaust survivors (although not that many are available on the website itself)
  • The Rutgers Oral History Archives of World War II include interviews with WWII veterans about their experiences during the war
  • Born in Slavery is a site with the archives of the Federal Writers' Project interviews with former slaves (although they are somewhat hard to read because they are scanned pages, rather than transcribed/typed pages)
  • Artists with Disabilities Oral History Project features transcripts of extensive interviews with six artists living with various disabilities.
  • Scandinavian Immigrant Experience is a collection of abridged transcipts of interviews with 282 immigrants to the U.S. from Scandinavia.
  • Life as a Kid is a documentary oral history of Athens, OH. Listening to the interviewees talk about childhood games is quite an experience.
  • Using Oral History: Oral History Website is a site that features link to a few other history sites, in addition to advice and guidelines for creating your own oral history.
  • Digital History functions as an online American history textbook. It contains primary sources, films, biographies, interactive timelines, a section for teachers, and more!
  • Family Oral History Using Digital Tools explains how to use media and digital tools to create and preserve one's family history through the stories of various family members.
  • Cambodia in Modern History: Beauty and Darkness The Beauty and Darkness project provides information on the recent history of Cambodia, particulary the Khmer Rouge period. This includes materials pertaining to Cambodia, as well as information about Cambodian refugees and immigrants abroad.
  • The Oral History Project The mission of the Oral History Project is to create and preserve a more complete record of the wars in Southeast Asia by preserving, through recorded interviews, the recollections and experiences of the men and women who participated in these wars, as well as those military and civilian personnel involved in activities surrounding the wars on the homefront.
  • Archives of American Art - Oral Histories This site is an A through Z listing of links to oral histories. You can click on a person to see their info and then see the transcribed history if their history is up.
  • Harvard's Hurricane Katrina Oral History Archive is a control study of 3,000 survivors of Katrina, based on phone interviews and followups. The focus is on medial and psychological issues, but the stories are amazing. 350 of them are available in mp3.
  • Hurricane Digital Memory Bank This site allows members of the Katrina/Rita diaspora enter their stories and photos from any location via a dialog box. Often, the entries include just a picture, a brief description of something or an anecdote. But many of the 23,000 entries are very moving narratives.
  • Lives Connected I won't ruin the interesting way this site visually links the experiences of 44 employees of New Orleans' company Peter Mayer after their evacuation from Hurricane Katrina. They're video histories linked thematically through a graphic interface. Pretty cool.

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