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OHA Annual Meeting: Spotlight on Workshops

In conjunction with the annual meeting, the OHA offers a robust assortment of workshops aimed at everyone from novices to experienced practitioners.  The workshops cover a wide range of topics, from the collection and preservation of oral history interviews, to legal and ethical issues, to the use of oral history in diverse formats and settings.


Wednesday, October 9

Workshop: An Introduction to Oral History

The introductory workshop serves as an informative overview to the field of oral history from initial

idea through finished product. The workshop will cover specifics within three sub-categories of

oral history: Pre-Interview, Interview, and Post-Interview, including the basics of oral history,

project planning, technology, interview setup, writing questions, release forms, providing access

and/or a transcript, available resources, and any other topic of interest to the attendees.

Additionally, the workshop will include a series of audio question and answer examples from

several oral history interviews to help individuals hone interviewing skills and provoke additional

discussion in the workshop.

Jeff D. Corrigan has been the Oral Historian for The State Historical Society of Missouri at the

University of Missouri-Columbia.


Workshop: Thinking & Writing Digitally: Bringing Multimedia Content to the Writing of Oral


This half-day, hands-on workshop is designed to provide guidance to authors who seek to

integrate multimedia content into the writing of oral history. The aim of the workshop is to help

attendees realize the goal of “writing digitally”—that is, making multimedia content integral, rather

than merely supplemental, to the arguments presented. Toward that end, the workshop leaders,

members of the Oral History Review’s editorial team, will not lecture on the concept of “writing

digitally”; rather, attendees should bring a work-in-progress, article-length writing project (or a

solid, well-thought out idea) for which they have (or intend to create) digital content. After an

initial introduction to the concept of “writing digitally” and a demonstration of one or two digitally

conceived articles, the workshop will consist of the OHR’s editors working with attendees to

integrate their multimedia content into their work-in-progress in such a way that the text and

multimedia content mutually enhance each other and the argument presented. The focus will be

on “thinking digitally” (and not on providing technical assistance), but the editors will provide

guidance on technical matters, as possible.

The workshop is limited to 10 participants, and registrants should send a one-paragraph

description of their work-in-progress to Troy Reeves (at ude.c1638803545siw.y1638803545rarbi1638803545l@sev1638803545eert1638803545) at the time

they register for the workshop.

Kathryn Nasstrom serves as the Editor of the Oral History Review. She is an Associate

Professor of History at the University of San Francisco, where she teaches oral history, women’s

history, and the history of social movements (especially civil rights movements).

Doug Boyd serves as the Digital Initiatives Editor for the Oral History Review. He directs

the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries.


Workshop: Oral History and IRBs

Dealing with your institution’s IRB for your oral history project can be confusing and frustrating.

When the federal Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) ruled that oral history did not

meet the federal definition of research and was therefore exempt from institutional review board

(IRB) oversight, the final decision on how to handle oral history research still remained with

individual institutions. The result is that IRBs’ approach to oral history varies widely. The

relationship is further complicated when IRB members and staff are not familiar with oral history

methodology. However, there are underlying consistencies in IRBs which can demystify the

bureaucracy and help you shepherd your project through it. This workshop will provide you with

the knowledge and strategies you need to successfully navigate your institution’s human subjects

approval process.

Barbara Truesdell is the assistant director of the Center for the Study of History and Memory at

Indiana University


Workshop: Oral History and the Law

The goal of this workshop is to explore the major legal issues that all practitioners of oral history

should be knowledgeable about. Topics to be covered include: professional ethics, legal release

agreements, protecting sealed/restricted interviews, defamation, the privacy torts, copyright,

uploading interviews to the internet, and institutional review boards. Participants will be given

ample opportunities to ask questions related to their project or subject matter interest. The

workshop is intended to be academic in nature and will not provide legal advice.

John A. Neuenschwander is an emeritus professor of history at Carthage College in Kenosha,

Wisconsin and the author of Oral History and the Law.


Workshop: Turning Oral History Transcripts into Performance Texts

This workshop explores the process of converting oral histories from the page to the stage.

Working in small groups, from sections of the same oral history transcripts, we will investigate the

following: What makes something theatrical? How does embodiment change an oral history

transcript? What issues of contextualization and de-contextualization arise? How does the identity

positioning of a performer enrich or subvert a transcript? What literary strategies can be used to

enhance theatricality while honoring oral history? Be prepared for a laboratory approach that

involves a few basic acting and directing exercises, as well as group experiment and discussion.

Julie Pearson-Little Thunder is a Visiting Assistant Professor with the Oklahoma Oral History

Research Program (OOHRP) at the Oklahoma State University Library.


Saturday, October 12

Workshop: Folk Music and Oral History, Folk Music AS Oral History: Teaching with Folk

Music, Photographs, and Voices from the Depression and New Deal

Learn more about integrating oral history, music and photographs into your curriculum through

this performance-based, hands-on workshop led by The 198 String Band featuring Mike Frisch,

Peggy Milliron, and Tom Naples. This workshop is designed to provide teachers with ideas for

discussing history and culture through music, photographs and oral history. Using songs,

photographs, images, lyrics, and linked audio documents focused on the Great Depression and in

particular on the Dustbowl and Oklahoma-California migrations, the band will explore the

backgrounds of these materials and the integration of folk music within a broader context. The

songs and documents, many from and about Oklahoma, engage topics ranging from social

conditions to cultural patterns to political responses. The 198 String Band will work with teachers

to explore how particular songs, photographs, and resources can be leveraged in the classroom

to help students connect history to contemporary issues and community concerns. This all-day

workshop will be particularly relevant for educators involved in teaching American history, social

studies, political science, Oklahoma and regional history, and music, but the techniques are more

generally applicable as well for any curriculum.

The 198 String Band has researched and assembled Depression Era/New Deal music from the

Library of Congress and other archives, including the Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant

camp field recordings from the late 1930s and early 1940s that have rarely been performed and

never commercially recorded. Period audio sources include excerpts from oral histories, poems,

narratives, thus bringing actual Oklahoma voices from the Dust Bowl into range for classroom

and public use.

Workshop participations will receive a CD of songs from The 198 String Band, a lyric pack used

in discussions, a CD/DVD with representative public domain photo sequences and audio

documents, along with guides to online materials and lesson plan models that emerge from

workshop activities.

A certificate of completion for all participants will be made available.

Mike Frisch (fiddle, guitar, vocals) is Professor of American Studies and History at the University

at Buffalo, a recent President of the Oral History Association, and serves on the Board of the New

York Council for the Humanities.

Peggy Milliron (guitar, vocals) is a music educator, history researcher, and avid photographer

who did the photo research and selection for this presentation and partnered in the editing


Tom Naples (guitar, banjo, autoharp) is a folk singer who has researched the music of the Great

Depression in archives and travelled the route of the Dust Bowl migrations, visiting migrant camp

sites and interviewing former camp residents.


Workshop: Oral History and Digital Preservation

The preservation of digital fieldwork materials forces a radical reconsideration of traditional

approaches to preserving archival resources. This workshop will provide an introduction to

current archival best practices for the preservation of multimedia digital resources created by oral

historians. The primary intention of this workshop is to provide guidelines to insure the longevity

of the research collection of oral historians who are working in institutional environments. We will

discuss the fundamentals of digital preservation, with a special consideration of the demands of

digital multimedia materials. We will cover issues pertaining to the choice of acquisition formats,

obsolescence cycles, digital storage options, file formats, file management, and analog-to digital

conversion for preservation and access purposes. We will examine the technological needs for

appropriately processing digital audio, images, and video for archival preservation purposes. This

year, we will include particular focus on the findings of the IMLS funded Oral History in the Digital

Age best practices initiative as well as pay particular attention to digital video preservation.

Doug Boyd serves as the director of the Louis B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University

of Kentucky Libraries.


For schedule details and complete bios please see full program.


UNC-Chapel Hill Develops Online Tool for Mapping History

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a website-building tool that puts previously complex digital programming into the hands of historians and researchers. The new tool, called the Digital Humanities Toolkit or DH Press, provides a way for historians, researchers, teachers and others to create interactive websites, virtual tours, data maps and multimedia archives with a WordPress platform.

UNC’s Southern Oral History Program created a pilot project with DH Press and called it “Mapping the Long Women’s Movement.” It places the oral histories of hundreds of individuals onto a US map and allows users to search through the audio files with key words and themes to find stories more easily.

Read more from North Carolina Public Radio, WUNC.

Columbia’s Oral History Master of Arts Program

The MidAtlantic Regional Center for the Humanities features an article by Linda Shopes, about Columbia University’s Oral History Master of Arts program. The program, housed at Columbia’s Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics, is a collaboration between the Columbia Center for Oral History and Institute for Social and Economic Research Policy. To date, forty-five students have graduated from the year-long program, and fourteen will enter in the fall.  While many public history graduate programs incorporate the study of oral history, the OHMA remains the only graduate level program in the United States focusing exclusively on oral history.

Read the article here.

Oral Historian James Sterling Young Has Died

James Sterling Young, who established the country’s only program dedicated to compiling comprehensive oral histories of the American presidency, and who also amassed a vast oral history of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s career, died on Aug. 8 at his home in Advance Mills, Va. He was 85.

His death was announced by the Miller Center at the University of Virginia, which studies politics, policy and the presidency. The center houses the Presidential Oral History Program, of which Professor Young was the founder and longtime chairman.

Read his full obituary from The New York Times.

OHA Annual Meeting: Spotlight on OKC Tours

Friday, October 11, 9:00 am- 4:00 pm

Explore Guthrie, Oklahoma – Oklahoma’s first capital

Cost: $50

Travel by bus to Guthrie, Oklahoma, which served as Oklahoma’s state capital from 1907 to 1910. Located approximately thirty-two miles north of Oklahoma City, Guthrie is one of the largest contiguous Historic Districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1999, the downtown area was designated a National Historic Landmark with many beautifully restored buildings as examples of late 19th and early 20th Century architecture, including several designed by architect Joseph Foucart.

The first stop upon arriving in Guthrie will be the Scottish Rite Temple, among the top three Masonic edifices in North America in overall architectural beauty and interior design. Many European artisans were imported to work on the building and it is a “virtual storybook of architectural history.” Following a tour of the Temple, we will travel a short distance to Guthrie’s downtown district. After lunch on their own, group members will meet back up and take a narrated trolley ride of Guthrie’s historic areas. For the last part of the trip, group members will visit the Oklahoma Territorial Museum which documents the creation of the Unassigned Lands, the Land Run of 1889, the homestead experience, and territorial and state government. The steps of the adjoining Carnegie Library were the location of the 1907 ceremonial wedding of Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory to create the state of Oklahoma. The bus will return guests to the Skirvin Hilton. 

Saturday, October 12, 9:30-12:30

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Cost: $45



Travel a short distance by bus to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture. The museum was founded in 1955 and collects, preserves and exhibits internationally renowned collections of Western art and artifacts. The American Cowboy Gallery, comprising 8,000 square feet, interprets the cowboy’s history and culture from Spanish colonial times to the 20th century. The gallery represents the most extensive exhibition on the working cowboy in the United States. The 6,500 square feet American Rodeo Gallery celebrates the history, people and events of the West’s truly indigenous sport. The Art of the American West Gallery contains outstanding examples of paintings and sculptures from the museum’s collection. The Native American Galley displays nearly 190 individual cultural items. Other galleries spotlight firearms, the Frontier West, and western performers among other items. The Museum also features a restaurant and gift store.

The tour group will meet in the Skirvin Hotel lobby at 9:15. Tour cost includes bus travel and admission to the museum.


2013 Election voting now open!

The Oral History Association elections are now open. During the next six weeks, all current OHA members have the opportunity to vote for OHA first vice-president, member of Council, and three members of the Nominating Committee. We encourage all members to take part in the process. Voting will continue through September 27.

The login ID is the OHA member number, which members should have received in a recent email. (Members should keep their number readily available as it also offers on-line access to current and back issues of the Oral History Review and to a 20% discount on Oxford University Press books.)

The link to the election is: You will have the opportunity to read biographical information and a personal statement from each candidate on the voting website.

Thank you for taking time to vote! Election results will be announced at the annual meeting in Oklahoma City, October 9-13. If you have any difficulty voting, please contact the OHA office at ude.u1638803545sg@ah1638803545o1638803545.

2014 Oral History Association Awards


Article Award

Tracy K’Meyer

“Remembering the Past and Contesting the Future of School Desegregation in Louisville, Kentucky, 1975-2012″


Book Award

Anna Sheftel and Stacey Zembrzycki, editors

Oral History off the Record: Toward an Ethnography of Practice

Palgrave, 2013


Nonprint Format Award

Kenneth Bindas and David Hassler

May 4th Voices: Kent State, 1970


Vox Populi Awards

Densho:  The Japanese American Legacy Project, Seattle, Washington

African American Oral History Project, Oakland, California


OHA Annual Meeting: Spotlight on Wednesday Special Events

Wednesday, October 9, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Documentary Film, Anne Braden: Southern Patriot

 Anne Braden: Southern Patriot is a documentary exploration of the extraordinary life and legacy of this American civil rights leader. After she was charged with sedition for attempting to desegregate a Louisville, Kentucky neighborhood in 1954, Braden used the attacks to turn herself “inside out” and embrace a lifetime of racial justice organizing matched by few whites in American history. Braden was hailed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail as a white southerner whose rejection of her segregationist upbringing was “eloquent and prophetic, ” and named as one of only five southern whites he could count as allies. Labeled a “traitor to her race” and ostracized as a “red” by segregationists and even many in the civil rights movement, she fought for an inclusive movement community and demonstrated that protecting civil liberties was essential to gaining civil rights. Described as “one of the great figures of our time” by historian Jacquelyn Hall, Braden died in 2006 leaving a remarkable legacy as a grassroots organizer, committed journalist, movement strategist, social chronicler, teacher and mentor to three generations of social justice activists.

In the film Braden recalls 60 years of activism that intersected and linked issues of race with civil liberties, class, gender, sexuality, economic justice, environmentalism, and peace. She delivers a powerful message on the dangers of racism and white supremacy, why it poses such an obstacle to social change, and the necessity of whites organizing with people of color to eliminate it. Braden biographer Catherine Fosl, Angela Y. Davis, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Barbara Ransby, Rev. C.T. Vivian and Cornel West among others add their comments on the far-reaching implications of Braden’s life for activists, students, scholars and anyone interested in building a better world.

The film was directed by Anne Lewis and Mimi Pickering of Appalshop Films, Whitesburg, Kentucky.  Mimi Pickering will introduce the film and will answer questions following the showing of the documentary.


Wednesday Evening Reception


 Celebrating Leadership of the Southern Oral History Program

October 9, 2013, 8:30PM

A reception in honor of founding director and lead scholar for forty years, Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, and coordinator extraordinaire for fifteen years, Elizabeth A. Millwood.

Join us in heralding the next phase of two stellar careers and lives.

                                                                                             • Dessert Buffet

                                                                                             • Cash Bar

                                                                                             • Dress to Dance

                                                                      All OHA meeting attendees are welcome!



Cold War Oral History Series organized by Texas Historical Commission

When the Lone Star State Met the Iron Curtain: Recollections of Texas in the Cold War is a Texas Historical Commission initiative to interpret and preserve the history of the varied roles Texans played in the Cold War from 1946–1991.

The project goal is to honor the memories of both Texans who served in the armed forces as well as those who made contributions on the home front. Initial funding is made possible through the support of The Summerlee Foundation located in Dallas, which previously contributed to the THC’s award-winning Texas in World War II oral history workshop series.

See more at or contact 512-472-0102 or visit for submission formatting guidelines.