There is no doubt that the podcasting movement has accelerated in the past few years, and I am an enormous fan of podcasts that relate to history. You will often find me with headphones on, and, more than likely, I am listening to one of my favorite podcasts. The podcast format/medium/platform is such a good fit for exploring archived oral histories in creative and dynamic ways. It is no wonder there has been an explosion of oral history-focused podcasts emerging over the past few years, each with different approaches and different production styles. In October 2015, the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History launched the Wisdom Project Podcast. I had wanted to produce an oral history podcast for some time. After testing the waters with five initial episodes, we have transitioned into a new phase of production with the launch of season two, so stay tuned.
The following (in no particular order) are some of my favorite oral history-based podcasts. Of course, there are numerous podcasts out there that utilize interviewing or interviews that are historical in nature. This list focuses on podcasts that self-identify as “oral history” podcasts. We need to see more oral history podcasts showing up in people’s podcasting apps, because there is such compelling material being produced at the grassroots level (which is where I really think podcasting excels). If you like one of these podcasts, subscribe to it, tell your friends, post something to your circle of friends or followers, and rate it on your favorite podcasting platform. Ratings raise the profile of podcasts in the eyes of platforms such as iTunes. I will periodically update this list as I discover new favorites. I know this list focuses on oral history podcasts produced in the United States, and I know there are more that I am missing, so please suggest other oral history podcasts to me.
The Wisdom Project Podcast
Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
Description: Features archived oral history interviews from the Nunn Center collection. Style is a more storytelling or narrative journalism orientation.
Outspoken: A COPH Podcast
Center for Oral and Public History, California State Fullerton
Description: In there words, Outspoken “incorporates current projects, oral histories, and archival material into monthly conversations”
The Other Side of the Mic: An Oral History Podcast
Amplify: The Oral History Podcast Network
Description: Podcast about oral history. Features interviews with oral historians doing oral history.
Oklahoma Oral History Research Program, Oklahoma State University
Description: Features interviews from the archive, as well as conversations with experts and project personnel on a “variety of topics related to Oklahoma history and culture.”
Archives of American Art Oral Histories
Smithsonian Institute Archives of American Art
Description: Excerpts from oral history interviews
Tales from the Campanile
Oral History Center, UC Berkeley Library
Description: Features interviews from the archive. First season focuses on women in politics.
T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History, LSU
Description: Episodes feature edited interview excerpts from the collection. Featured in the article “What Endures” by Jennifer Abraham Cramer and Erin Hess on Oral History in the Digital Age.
Voices From the Archives
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, University of Florida
Description: Episodes are “compiled from diverse oral history collections… to facilitate easy access to local history for students, teachers, and the general public.”
Mississippi Moments Podcast
University of Southern Mississippi Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage
Description: weekly radio program on Mississippi Public Broadcasting, features brief vignettes from archived oral histories.
Website: Link: http://www.mississippimoments.org
National Park Service Oral History
National Park Service
Description: Brief excerpts of interviews with former National Park employees.
Veteran Voices: the Oral History Podcast
Veteran Voices of Pittsburgh Oral History Initiative
Description: Conversations with veterans from the Pittsburgh area.
Southern Oral History Program, UNC-Chapel Hill
Description: A podcast about oral history activities of the SOHP. Interviews with practitioners, as well as excerpts from the archival collection.
The Dole Institute Oral History Project
The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, University of Kansas
Description: Podcast delivery of full interviews from the project.
Glucksman Ireland House NYU
Center for Irish and American Studies, New York University
Description: Excerpts of interviews from the Archives of Irish America at NYU. Storytelling approach, great use of music!,
Flatbush + Main
Brooklyn Historical Society
Description: Includes much discussion between the hosts, interviews with experts, oral history excerpts, and lots of Brooklyn!
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