1st Edition

Practicing Oral History to Connect University to Community

By Fawn-Amber Montoya, Beverly Allen Copyright 2019
    148 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    148 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Practicing Oral History to Connect University to Community illustrates best practices for using oral histories to foster a closer relationship between institutions of higher learning and the communities in which they are located.

    Using case studies, the book describes how to plan and execute an oral history project that can help break down walls and bring together universities and their surrounding communities. It offers advice on how to locate funding sources, disseminate information about the results of a project, ensure the long-term preservation of the oral histories collected, and incorporate oral history into the classroom. Bringing together "town and gown," the book demonstrates how different communities can work together to discover new research opportunities and methods for preserving history.

    Supported by examples, sample forms, and online resources, the book is an important resource both for oral historians and those working to improve relationships between university institutions and their neighboring communities.

    List of Figures and Tables

    About the authors





    1 Building Relationships Between the University and the Community

    2 Community Outreach

    3 Funding an Oral History Project

    4 The Process of Oral History: Planning

    5 The Process of Oral History: The Interview

    6 Ethics and Best Practices for Oral History

    7 Telling the World: Sharing the Project and Making it Accessible to the Community

    8 Oral History in the Classroom

    9 Preservation

    10 Community Collaborations


    Appendix A: Works Cited

    Appendix B: Further Reading/Web Resources

    Appendix C: Forms, Policies and Procedures, and Outreach Examples

    Appendix D: Glossary



    Beverly B. Allen received her M.A. in History from the University of Missouri, St. Louis and her M.S. in Library Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. She is currently University Archivist at Colorado State University, Pueblo, and has written several articles about building ethnically diverse archival collections, including “Yo Soy Colorado: Three Collaborative Hispanic Cultural Heritage Initiatives” (Collaborative Librarianship, 2012).

    Fawn-Amber Montoya received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 2007. Montoya currently serves as the Director of the Honors Program at Colorado State University, Pueblo, and Montoya edited the collection Making an American Workforce: The Rockefellers and the Legacy of Ludlow (2014).

    "In this practical guide built on a diverse series of examples illustrating how inclusive, mutually-beneficial oral history work can be transformative to university/community relationships and holistic historical representation, the inspiration and guidance provided are relevant for both the seasoned or rookie oral historian."

    Sarah Milligan, Oklahoma State University Library, USA

    "Community engagement is central to libraries, which are tasked with circulating local knowledge, information, and understanding. This book shows that university settings are similarly poised to be of the community and not simply in the community. That premise is invigorating—and oral history, thoroughly explained in this text, makes the idea actionable."

    Cyns Nelson, author of Oral History in Your Library: Create Shelf Space for Community Voice

    "Whether in a community or university setting, any practitioner interested in expanding their oral history program, starting a new oral history project or program, or just being somewhere in-between will find this manual and practical guide relevant and vital to keep close at hand when diving into an oral history endeavor."

    Katie Nash, Oral History Review