We often think of oral history projects as stodgy and boring, mere catalogs of dates, names, places, and self-important stories with little relevance to anyone else but the interviewee. To some extent, we can’t argue with this assessment. Too many oral histories are, in fact, unappealing, especially long-form interviews. In our experience, the net effect is that these interviews are seldom heard or watched by anyone beyond the participants’ family, close friends, or interested academics or researchers.
But oral histories do no have to be uninteresting. Here are a few creative and thought-provoking oral history projects that might surprise you.