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Oral History Guide: Home

Guidelines for creating oral histories and oral history projects.

Oral History is. . .

"Oral history is a field of study and a method of gathering, preserving and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past events. Oral history is both the oldest type of historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most modern, initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now using 21st-century digital technologies." - Oral History Association

Oral Histories in Higher Education

Brian O'Hagen talks about oral histories in the digital age.


Examples of Oral Histories

Special Collections Librarian & Archivist

Profile Photo
Beth Morgan
Library - Thomas A. Spragens Rare Book Room & Archives
Subjects: Newspapers

Institutional Review Board

Before beginning an oral history project you need to contact the Centre College Institutional Review Board (IRB). Any project using "human subject research" must be approved by the IRB. Human subject research involves the collection of data from or about living human beings. With a script of your interview (questions you plan to ask) the Board is able to quickly review your project.

The following persons must receive approval from Centre’s IRB before beginning their human subject research:

  • Anyone formally affiliated with Centre College (faculty, staff, students) who engages in scholarly research involving human subjects, either on or off campus.
  • Researchers who are not affiliated with Centre College but who want to conduct research with human subjects on Centre’s campus, or want to collect data specifically from Centre College faculty, students, or staff. 
  • Anyone using data from human subjects that was collected at Centre College under the provisions of this document. For example, this includes graduates who intend to continue working with data that was originally collected as a student at Centre College.

Centre College Institutional Review Board