According to the Oral History Association, oral history is “both [a] method of recording and preserving…the product of that process.” Through the use of either formal or informal interviewing techniques, the narrator gathers together in-depth information about a subject’s life including, but certainly not limited to, thoughts or impressions about historic events, anecdotes, eyewitness testimony, childhood memories, involvement within a community or organization, personal or professional relationships, or cultural traditions.
The Monroe County History Center Research Library strives to maintain its collection of oral history projects that represent the variety of cultures, identities, and experiences—both individually and communally—that are unique to Bloomington.
While there is no doubt the Oral History Collection prides itself on preserving the rich, storied voices of the town’s past, it also has a keen eye on the future. This project index, which previously existed as a downloadable file, is now available on this easy-to-use website.
HOW IT WORKS
Listed across the top of the page are the names of the oral history projects that are currently accessible in the Research Library. Clicking on a title will take you to a new page where you can read a brief description about the project, the number of interviews, and how those interactions were recorded. Subjects are listed in alphabetical order and clicking on a name will direct you to additional information such as the date of the interview and where the audio files and transcripts can be located within the library.
At the bottom of every page is a black triangle with a white plus sign in the middle. Clicking this button allows you to search the entire website for specific names, subjects, dates, and projects.
Please note that some audio files can only be accessed on a computer in the Research Library. If you need help or have any questions concerning the collection, you may always send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 812-332-2517 ext. 4.