Oral Histories: An Introduction
Oral histories are information that document everyday life, events, and community groups with physical objects such as an audio tape recorder, video camera, or simple pen and paper. Oral history tradition or preserving history via non-written means has played an important role in the preservation of history by ancient societies.
Today, oral histories provide historians and posterity with the opportunity to learn about the everyday life of an individual, community, or historical event with a new and unique perspective. Often, these oral histories provide their users with challenging views of the traditional history of a people or historical event.
The Bentley Historical Library manages nearly 200 oral histories, which span in subject matter and depth of information provided. The Oral History Subject Guide is comprised of eight sub-groupings that are broken down further into smaller groupings. The eight groups are listed on the left hand side of the web page, and they are presented in the following order: Education, Health Care, Industry, Business and Labor, Minority Populations, State and National Politics, War and Military Experience, and Women Centered Histories.
Vice President Johnson and Mr. Taylor at a Plans for Progress Committee Meeting, 1963. From Box 23 of the Hobart Taylor collection.