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Oral History Resources

Oral History Resources (NYC)

Bronx Community College: American Icons Oral History Collection
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Student and community residents from Bronx Community College (BCC), the home of the “Hall of Fame of Great Americans,” will share their own experiences learning and working among monuments that fail to reflect America’s diversity. This project addresses the mythology behind the National Anthem and other outdated commemorative art. Questioning and deconstructing nationalistic artifacts from the past, we can create space to spotlight and honor stories of America’s present. We hope this will paint a more representative picture of the community we envision and celebrate in the Bronx.
A few oral interview recordings on Spotify.
Bronx Community College: Community Care during COVID
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Bronx Community College Archives and Mutual Aid NYC (MANYC) have formed a partnership to collect oral history interviews from community mutual aid organizers across the Bronx. In collaboration with BCC students, the Archives created this oral history archive to document these Bronx stories. Ultimately, our hope is that these stories collected during the COVID-19 crisis will be made available to organizers, while also preserving documentation of mutual aid work for scholars and activists.
Brooklyn College: Listening Project
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The Listening Project is designed to create new links between the college and the communities of Brooklyn, to take better advantage of the incredible wisdom of everyday people, and to showcase the brilliance of our students, and the community in which we all live—Brooklyn, New York City, and beyond.
About a dozen oral history interviews along with individual autobiographies. A lot of resources for using oral history for teaching and learning.
Brooklyn Historical Society: Oral History Collections
Screenshot of oralhistory.brooklynhistory.org
Brooklyn Historical Society’s oral history collections now include over 1,200 interviews. The following collections contain interviews whose audio, and in some cases transcripts, can be accessed online.
Over 1,200 of recorded interviews, transcripts, and other visual resources collected in Brooklyn.
Coney Island History Project
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The Coney Island History Project, founded in 2004, is a not-for-profit organization that aims to increase awareness of Coney Island's legendary and colorful past and to encourage appreciation of the Coney Island neighborhood of today.
East NY Oral History Project
Screenshot of eastnewyorkoralhistory.org
The East New York Oral History Project captures the personal experiences of people who lived in East New York from 1960 - 1970, during the time in which this Brooklyn community changed from primarily White to primarily Black and Latino.
Ellis Island Stories and Oral Histories
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They arrived from around the world for countless reasons. Some fled persecution, some ran from famine, and many came simply for the possibility of a better life. Today, the varied stories of Ellis Island immigrants are kept alive through the Foundation’s Oral History project.
Five Boro Story Project
Screenshot of www.fiveborostoryproject.org
The Five Boro Story Project produces free, live storytelling programs (from small workshops to large events) that bring New Yorkers together through sharing true stories and art inspired by our neighborhoods. We travel throughout the five boroughs, build partnerships with amazing people and community organizations, hold story-sharing workshops, curate performances by local artists and residents who have strong pieces about their neighborhood, and invite community members to share their own stories and art through open mics, story circles, and other participatory activities.
All oral history videos for the Five Born Story Project are saved in its YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/@FiveBoroStoryProject/videos.
Fordham University: Bronx African American History Project
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Fordham's Bronx African American History Project is regarded as one of the premier community based oral history projects in the United States. Founded in the spring of 2002 in collaboration with the Bronx County Historical Society, the BAAHP has conducted over 300 full length interviews with African American political leaders, educators, musicians, social workers, business people, clergy. athletes and leaders of community based organizations who have lived and worked in the Bronx since the late 1930s, along with a small number of their Latino and white neighbors and co-workers.
Historical Society of the New York Courts: Oral Histories of the NYS Bench & Bar
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HSoftheNYCourts Oral History Project, begun in 2005, consists of recorded interviews and transcriptions from judges and lawyers who tell their stories in intimate conversations with former clerks or colleagues. Participants reflect on childhood, events that shaped them, and their careers on the bench, in public service, and in the practice of law. Judges are invited to participate after they have retired from the bench.
Japanese American Association of New York: Oral History Project
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The New York Japanese American Oral History Project is a partnership of community organizations and individuals led by The Japanese American Association of New York, Inc. Our mission is to identify and preserve the rich and diverse history of those of Japanese heritage, important to the historic diversity of New York City. Through the collection of digital oral histories, we raise awareness of the under-documented community of Japanese Americans who relocated to New York in the post-WWII era, affecting women, children, and families who worked to rebuild their lives. We include post-war Japanese immigrants who have played particularly pivotal roles in the areas of the arts, education, government service, commerce, and human rights.
LaGuardia Community College: COVID-19 Oral History Project
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What is COVID-19 Asian American Oral History Project? The COVID-19 Oral History Project is a collection of images, essays, and video recordings documenting the experience of LaGuardia Community College students, especially those of the Asian descent, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of this project is to collect, analyze, exhibit, and preserve over 50 videotaped interviews of Asian and Asian American New Yorkers. This project aims to document and recognize the diverse experiences of Asian and Asian Americans at LaGuardia Community College and its surrounding communities in Queens during COVID-19. Asian communities in Queens are situated in the epicenter of …
LaGuardia Community College: Institutional Archives Oral Histories
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A collection of oral history interviews of LaGuardia Community College members over the years. A large part of this collection is centered around video interviews conducted by David Osborne, LaGuardia & Wagner Archives, for the college's 25th Anniversary. The interviews cover the experiences of students, staff, faculty and administrators looking back on how the college impacted their careers and how the college has changed since it's opening in 1972.
LaGuardia Community College: Making it here - Women in New York City Politics
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In honor of the first-ever female majority in the New York City Council, the Gardiner-Shenker Student Scholars researched women in local government and utilized the Archives' City Council Collection. Of the Council's 51 district representatives, 31 of them are female, and they represent a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds.
This project consists of a compilation of oral history audio and video recordings featuring eight female New York City Councilmembers. These interviews were conducted by LaGuardia students who were chosen as Gardiner-Shenker Student Scholars for this initiative. The project was financially supported by the New York City Council and the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation.
New York University: Digital Tamiment
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The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University form a unique, internationally-known center for scholarly research on Labor and the Left. The primary focus of our collections is the complex relationship between trade unionism and progressive politics, and how this shifted over time. Tamiment has one of the finest research collections in the country documenting the history of radical politics: socialism, communism, anarchism, the cultural left, the New Left and the struggle for civil rights and liberties. This website is a digital repository for Tamiment’s growing collection of digitized materials, including oral histories, films, photos, posters, special projects, publications and Tamiment events.
NYC Trans Oral History Project
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The New York City Trans Oral History Project is a community archive devoted to the collection, preservation and sharing of trans histories.
NYPL: Community Oral History Project
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The New York Public Library's Community Oral History Project is an initiative taking place at NYPL branches that aims to document, preserve, and celebrate the rich history of the city's unique neighborhoods by collecting the stories of people who have experienced it firsthand.
OHLA: Self-Care - The Social Worker's Story
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Under the direction of Hope College student Hannah Kenny, the mentorship of Dr. Marsely Kehoe, and support from the Sociology and Social Work Department, the Mellon Scholars Program of Hope College and Oral History in the Liberal Arts (OHLA), this project sheds light on the importance of exploring the depths of compassion fatigue through an exhibition of personal testimonies from social workers to discover the diversity of self-care interventions for the mind, body, and spirit. In this tribute to self-care, may we be mindful of the proven power of forging compassion through story.
Queens Memory
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Collaboration with community members and local organizations is core to our mission as a participatory archiving program. These project reports are full of documentary photographs, honest details about what we learned, and credits for those who contributed to our projects’ successes. If you have participated in this work, thank you! We hope you will find your story here. If you are interested in collaborating with us, these project reports might give you some ideas about ways we can work together to preserve the stories of Queens.
Zip Code Memory Project
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The Zip Code Memory Project seeks to find community-based ways to memorialize the devastating losses resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic while also acknowledging its radically differential effects on Upper New York City neighborhoods. Through a series of art-based workshops, public events, social media platforms, and a performance/exhibition at the Cathedral of St John the Divine, community members re-imagine Zip Codes not as zones of separation, but as interrelated spaces for connectivity and mutual care.

Oral History Resources (General)

Baylor University: The Institute for Oral History
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The Institute for Oral History has recorded and preserved oral histories since 1970, earning along the way a strong reputation for multidisciplinary outreach to both academic scholars and community historians by providing professional leadership, educational tools, and research opportunities.
A lot of resources and guidelines for conducting oral history interviews (see https://library.web.baylor.edu/visit/institute-oral-history/resources).
British Library: Sounds
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British Library Sounds allows you to listen to a selection from the Library’s collections of unique sound and moving image recordings. They come from all over the world and cover the entire range of recorded sound: music, drama and literature, oral history, wildlife and environmental sounds.
C-SPAN Oral History
Screenshot of www.c-span.org
AMERICAN HISTORY TV - Eyewitness accounts of key events in our nation's history.
A series of oral history videos on a wide range of political and historical topics such as WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War and 9/11.
Columbia University: Oral History Archives at Columbia
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The Columbia Center for Oral History (CCOH) was founded by historian and journalist Allan Nevins in 1948 and is credited with launching the establishment of oral history archives internationally. At over 10,000 interviews, the Oral History Archives is one of the largest oral history collections in the United States. The Oral History Archives at Columbia is housed at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library in Butler Library and is open to all.
Columbia University: Oral History Master of Arts
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Oral History Master of Arts (OHMA) is an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree program at Columbia University in the field of oral history that focuses on interviewing methodologies and interpretative methods.
Densho: Japanese American Incarceration and Japanese Internment
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Densho documents the testimonies of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II before their memories are extinguished. We offer these irreplaceable firsthand accounts, coupled with historical images and teacher resources, to explore principles of democracy and promote equal justice for all. Densho is a Japanese term meaning “to pass on to the next generation,” or to leave a legacy. The legacy we offer is an American story with ongoing relevance: during World War II, the United States government incarcerated innocent people solely because of their ancestry.
Oral history videos are complied into different themes/topics on their YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/@DenshoProject/playlists). Almost all topics involve Japanese Americans' experience during/after the World War II such as identity, the incarceration camp, resettlement, defiance, displacement, and redress and reparations.
Duke University: Rutherfurd Living History
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On February 13th, 1969, approximately 60 Duke students occupied the first floor of the Allen Building to protest the university’s failure to meet the needs of black students. Their demands included the creation of a black studies program, a summer transitional program for black freshmen, and a black student union.
Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL): Oral History
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The ISJL's Oral History project collected hundreds of audio and video interviews with Jewish Southerners from all over our region. These recordings—firsthand accounts of life stories and community...
Indiana University: Oral History Archive
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Visit the post for more. The Oral History Archive began in 1968, founded by Oscar O. Winther as an initiative to collect the history of Indiana University for its Sesquicentennial. The enormous potential of oral history as a research and pedagogical tool was quickly apparent, and the project expanded as other research studies added to the archive. When John Bodnar became the project’s director in 1981, he changed the Oral History Project’s name to the Oral History Research Center to reflect its broadened scope and its mission to preserve, collect, and interpret 20th-century history through the medium of first-person testimony. The center’s mission encompassed archival, pedagogical, and research goals in the field of oral history, with particular emphasis on the history of Indiana and the Midwest. In 2002, the Center again expanded its mission when it became the Center for the Study of History and Memory to address the growing interdisciplinary field of memory studies, of which oral history is one important facet. The archive became part of the Center for Documentary Research and Practice when the two centers merged in 2015.
Jewish Women's Archive: Listen and Tell
Screenshot of jwa.org
Learn about tools and techniques that will make oral history projects more engaging for both you and your students. Get oriented to various online resources that will help you collect and share stories in your classroom or community. Finally, explore how oral histories can be used as “Jewish texts” that teach students about Jewish history, identity, and community.
Kentucky Historical Society: Adventure Through the Past
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The Kentucky Historical Society is here to bring Kentucky History to learners and adventurers of all ages. Come explore with us.
Library of Congress: Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress (oral history)
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The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library's vast digital collections in their teaching.
About a dozen lesson plans using oral history materials at the Library of Congress. Topics include "Billy the Kid", "The Civil Rights Movement", "The Grapes of Wrath", "The Great Depression", "Immigration", "LGBTQ Activism", "Veterans", and "Women in Science."
LSU: T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
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The LSU Libraries supports the academic mission of the university by fostering teaching, learning, and research. Through its commitment to excellence in collections, services, and spaces, the Libraries serves as an indispensable intellectual resource for the state of Louisiana, and indeed to communities worldwide.
Minnesota Historical Society: Gale Family Library Oral History
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Learn about Gale Family Library's oral history collection, and explore helpful guides to undertaking civic or community oral history projects.
National Museum of African American History and Culture: Oral History Initiative
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The mission of the Museum’s Oral History Initiative is to document, preserve, and interpret African American stories through the art and practice of oral history.
New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum: Oral History Program
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As part of the Museum's mission to collect and preserve the agricultural heritage of New Mexico, the Museum implemented an Oral History Program in the mid-1990s. This systematic collection of living people's recollections of their experiences with farming, ranching, and rural life is a major component in researching and interpreting these subjects for our visitors. Curators incorporate audio tracks and quotes into most of our exhibits—wouldn't you rather hear about history from the people that were actually there?
OHLA: Re-establishing a Seed Commons through Oral History Methodology
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“Re-establishing a Seed Commons through Oral History Methodology: Capturing the Story of Seed ” is a research project that provides a venue for preserving knowledge of the nearly lost art of saving seed while grounding students in an epistemology of hope as they document change-makers who are charting a course forward into the great uncertainty of the Anthropocene. It highlights storytelling and mindful listening as a means of transferring knowledge from one generation to the next, and engages students in a high-impact pedagogy within a community of practice.
Oral History Association
Screenshot of oralhistory.org
Since 1966, the Oral History Association has served as the principal membership organization for people committed to the value of oral history. OHA engages with policy makers, educators, and others to help foster best practices and encourage support for oral history and oral historians. With an international membership, OHA serves a broad and diverse audience including teachers, students, community historians, archivists, librarians, and filmmakers.
Science History Institute: Center for Oral History
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The Center for Oral History at the Science History Institute develops and curates a growing collection of comprehensive, professionally conducted oral history interviews. Our mission is to ensure that current and future scholars and interested individuals are able to understand science, medicine, and technology from the perspective of those who participated in them, as
Smithsonian Institution: Archives of American Art
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The Archives of American Art is the world’s preeminent and most widely used research center dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing access to primary sources that document the history of the visual arts in America. Our resources serve as reference for dissertations, exhibitions, catalogs, articles, and books
A step-by-step introduction to conducting oral history interviews at https://siarchives.si.edu/history/how-do-oral-history.
Southern Oral History Program
Screenshot of sohp.org
Since 1973, the Southern Oral History Program has worked to preserve the voices of the South. We have collected more than 6,500 interviews with people from all walks of life. We think there's much to be learned from listening to each other. Housed at UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South, we are dedicated to conducting, archiving, and exhibiting oral histories. We believe in the power of individual narrative to challenge static notions about history and place, and wish to encourage students, faculty, and community partners to consider oral history as a valuable tool for creating a dynamic and inclusive portrait of the South.
Stanford University: Historical Society
Screenshot of historicalsociety.stanford.edu
The Stanford Historical Society welcomes everyone with or without a Stanford affiliation to become members. The society provides its members and supporters access to authentic Stanford stories, offering opportunities for preserving and sharing the university’s legacy and celebrating its history. SHS programming, research, public outreach, digital assets, publications and archival support create a personal and intellectual connection between its members and the university. Currently, there are over 800 members and about 200 volunteers. Many members regularly attend the exclusive members-only events and monthly programs as well as volunteer in society projects.
Screenshot of storycorps.org
StoryCorps' mission is to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone's story matters. At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations.
Over 10,000 recorded interviews (plus 100,000 contributed recorded interviews by users). There is a very useful search page at https://archive.storycorps.org/search/interviews/.
Suffolk University: Oral History Collections
Screenshot of www.suffolk.edu
The Moakley Archive collects oral history interviews that capture observations and opinions regarding key events, people, and themes that complement the University’s research collections.
Texas Tech University: The Vietnam Center &
Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive
Screenshot of www.vietnam.ttu.edu
The Vietnam Center and Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive Oral History Project seeks to preserve the history of the Vietnam War Era through the spoken word of the participants.
A large number of oral history interviews (mostly only audio) with Vietnam War veterans.
The Claremont Graduate University: Oral History Program Archive
Screenshot of www.cgu.edu
The Claremont Graduate University Oral History Program was inaugurated in January of 1962 to collect research material by conducting interviews with persons whose life experiences merited preservation. Allan Nevins, founder of the Columbia University Oral History Research Office, served as consultant to the program.
The University of Iowa: Iowa Labor History Oral Project
Screenshot of laborcenter.uiowa.edu
The Labor Center conducts educational programming for workers and their organizations, both bringing workers from across the region to campus to attend our on-campus programs and taking the University to them with tailored off-campus programs. Since the Labor Center's founding in 1951, tens of thousands of Iowa workers and union members have participated in Labor Center classes on labor and employment law and leadership development skills. Today, as part of The University of Iowa College of Law, the Center annually reaches over 2,500 adult learners through a wide range of non-credit course offerings both on and off campus. The Labor Center also conducts applied research; develops adult educational curriculum; hosts regional and national leadership schools; provides information on labor and workplace issues to faculty, students, and the public; and mentors and helps place students interested in careers in labor-related fields.
The University of Texas at Austin: Voces Oral History Center
Screenshot of voces.lib.utexas.edu
https://voces.lib.utexas.eduVoces Oral History Center is dedicated to recording, preserving and disseminating the stories of US Latinas and Latinos and weaving the many perspectives into our historical narrative at the national, state and local levels.A large number of well-documented oral history materials on a diverse range of topics (such as WWII, Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, Politic & Civic Engagement etc).
The University of Utah: American West Center
Screenshot of www.awc.utah.edu
In 1964 A. R. Mortensen and C. Gregory Crampton, two University of Utah history professors, founded the American West Center with the then unique mission of researching the history and culture of the American West. Over the past half century the Center has accomplished far more than Mortensen and Crampton could have imagined. Faculty and graduate student researchers affiliated with the Center have taken over 7,000 oral histories, including an unparalleled 2,000 Native American interviews. The Center’s staff has also created a remarkable archive of documents essential for the study of Western peoples and lands as well as a myriad of curriculum support materials - most notably seventeen community history textbooks and a statewide curriculum focused on Utah’s American Indian peoples. Now entering its sixth decade, the Center continues to be a vibrant part of the University of Utah. Because both undergraduate and graduate students carry out our projects, the Center offers invaluable hands-on education and experience. And because our work is necessarily interdisciplinary, the Center brings together students and faculty who might not otherwise cross paths.
UC Berkeley Library: Oral History Center
Screenshot of www.lib.berkeley.edu
Oral history dates to the beginnings of the University of California. Hubert Howe Bancroft conducted interviews in the 1860s in support of his 39-volume history of the West. In 1954, the Regional Oral History Office was established to conduct interviews with citizens of the West. In 2014, we became the Oral History Center of The Bancroft Library. Over the decades, we have conducted 4,000 interviews on almost every topic imaginable. The vast majority of these interviews have been made available online.
UC Santa Cruz: Regional History Project
Screenshot of library.ucsc.edu
Oral History Projects: Santa Cruz History Institutional History of UC Santa Cruz Cultivating a Movement: Organic & Sustainable Farming Out in the Redwoods: GLBT History Agricultural History Lick Observatory
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Oral History
Screenshot of www.ushmm.org
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Jeff and Toby Herr Oral History Archive is one of the largest and most diverse collections of Holocaust testimonies in the world. The Museum conducts its own interviews, and also actively collects testimonies produced by individuals and institutions such as libraries, archives, and local Holocaust research centers. Individuals whose experiences are represented in the collection include Jews, Roma, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, political prisoners, and others who were targeted by the Nazis and their collaborators. The collection also contains testimonies from liberators, collaborators, witnesses, and rescuers.
University of Maine: Maine Folklife Center
Screenshot of www.umaine.edu
Are you interested in the vernacular arts and culture of Maine and the Maritime Provinces? Then this is the place for you! Through its over 50 year history, the Maine Folklife Center (MFC) has been the main state repository for folklore and oral history projects. Our collection covers many fascinating areas of people’s history, identity, …
Veterans History Project at Library of Congress
Screenshot of www.loc.gov
The Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service.
Wisconsin Veterans Museum
Screenshot of www.wisvetsmuseum.com
The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is dedicated to Wisconsin vete and honors their role in shaping Wisconsin military history and that of our nation.
Witness to War
Screenshot of www.witnesstowar.org
The Witness to War Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the stories and unique experiences of combat veterans.
Yale University: Oral History of American Music Collections Guide
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Yale University Library Research Guides: Oral History of American Music Collections Guide: Home
Yiddish Book Center: The Wexler Oral History Project
Screenshot of www.yiddishbookcenter.org
The Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project is a growing collection of more than 1,000 in-depth video interviews about Yiddish language and culture.
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