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Oral History



Oral history interviews help Park Service rangers interpret document the history of park sites and interpret them for visitors.
Oral history interviews help Park Service rangers
document the history of park sites
and interpret them for visitors.

People's stories are among the most valuable resources that the National Park Service preserves and protects for future generations. Need help with an oral history project or want to know how parks are putting oral history into practice? Here's the place to begin.


Oral History Resources
Oral History in the National Park Service
Listen to the Stories of American History
Read Oral History Interviews
Consult Articles about Park Service Oral History Projects

 

 

Oral History Resources

The Oral History SharePoint Site features oral history training materials in the Shared Documents folder. Learn how to plan and design an oral history project, choose recording equipment, plan and conduct interviews, process and archive recordings, and use oral histories for interpretive programming.

Directory of Oral History in the National Park Service (July 2010) (Word document)

Oral History Legal Release Form (2009) (Word document)

What Is Oral History?

Oral History in the Digital Age

The Oral History Association Web site has a wealth of information about planning and conducting oral history projects:

General Principles of Oral History and Best Practices for Oral History (2009)

Oral history centers and collections in the United States and abroad and contacts for regional and international oral history organizations.

Have questions about oral history or need help planning a project? Contact Lu Ann Jones, staff historian, Park History Program, at luann_jones@nps.gov or 202-354-2219.

Oral History in the National Park Service

Students in the 2012 "Effective Oral History" course interview Michael Watson, former superintendent at Mather Training Center,

Students in the 2012 "Effective Oral History" course interview Michael Watson, former superintendent at Mather Training Center, in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Listen to the stories of American History

Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Yosemite National Park

Read Oral History interviews
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site

Harry S Truman National Historic Site

Gateway National Recreation Area

Lowell National Historic Park

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park

Shenandoah National Park

Alaska parks—Denali, Katmai, Lake Clark, Sitka, and Yukon-Charley Rivers—have collaborated with the digital branch of the oral history program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Find interviews, photographs and other resources at Project Jukebox.

An Interview with Robert M. Utley on the History of Historic Preservation in the National Park Service, 1947-1980

Consult articles about Park Service oral history projects

Janet M. McDonnell, "Oral History in the National Park Service" (pdf) Copyright 2003 by the Oral History Association. Reprinted by permission of the University of California Press.

J. Todd Moye, "The Tuskegee Airmen Oral History Project, and Oral History in the National Park Service" (pdf) Copyright 2002 by the Organization of American Historians. Reprinted by permission of The Journal of American History.

Heidi Ridgley, "P. O. Box 1142: World War II: The Lost Chapter"

"Oral History: The Hyde Park Project"

"Sand Creek Massacre Site Oral History"

"Oral Histories Capture Forgotten Moments in Civil Rights History"

"Oral History: A Challenging and Provocative Experience"


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