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oral history



  • An Eyewitness to Studs

    To mark what would have been the 108th birthday of Studs Terkel, Peter T. Alter, CHM chief historian and director of the Studs Terkel Center for Oral History, reflects on the memorable moments he shared with Studs at the Museum and Studs’s enduring cultural influence. 


  • Why Holocaust Fiction?

    by Bernice Lerner

    Had they had a choice, I believe Hitler’s victims would have wanted nothing about the mortal crimes against them falsified. 


  • Historical Memory and the Slave Narrative Collection

    by Sarah Whitwell

    Rather than viewing memory as a passive process of recalling lived experiences as objective truths, historians have begun to view memory as an active ordering of the past.



  • James Sterling Young, oral historian, dies at 85

    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.An award-winning historian of 19th-century American politics, Professor Young, who retired in 2006, was at his death an emeritus professor of government and foreign affairs at Virginia. He was previously a faculty member and administrator at Columbia University....

  • Why the Boston College Oral History Ruling Isn't a Victory

    by Chris Bray

    Boston College motto: "Ever to Excel," engraved on the Bapst Library on campus. Credit: Wiki Commons.The journalists are mostly wrong. A federal appeals court decision in Boston this week is a victory, of sorts, but not for oral history. Neither is it much of a victory for Boston College, which filed the appeal. In the end, the university merely protected confidential archival material that its own curious negligence put at risk. (Read the First Circuit's complete opinion here.)