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Maria Rogers Oral History Program

Maria Rogers Oral History Program of the Carnegie Library

The Carnegie Library for Local History began collecting oral histories in 1976. In the early 1980s, the program was led by Maria Rogers, a volunteer manager. After the death of Maria, her family worked with the Boulder Public Library Foundation (BPLF) to endow the program and fund a coordinator position. With this endowment the program was named the Maria Rogers Oral History Program (MROHP). Oral history is one way the library fulfills its mission of helping people engage with information that can enrich their lives.

The Oral History Collection

  • MROHP records, preserves, and makes accessible first-hand stories as primary-source material. Interviews help fill gaps in the historical record; researchers use the raw material to create new kinds of documentation such as books, films, and exhibits. The collection scope is broad and diverse, including “life” interviews—where individuals have been identified for their depth of knowledge and enduring contribution to the community—and “topic” interviews, where narrators give their perspectives on a subject that is being explored. (The largest special collection to date explores the subject of the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant; more than 150 people were interviewed.)
  • MROHP is committed to having interviews available as digital files that can be shared through the library’s website. Some oral histories originally were done as video; those “moving image” interviews are gathered in a video collection that is supplemental to the audio collection, which includes the entirety of the oral histories. For a majority of interviews, a summary or transcript also has been created; when these documents exist, they are coupled with the audio. The total collection grows each year, as we actively target new subject areas and new voices.

Volunteers

MROHP relies on a pool of volunteers who bring ideas to the program and work on projects developed by the library. Volunteers contribute to every aspect of the oral history lifecycle: conducting interviews, taking notes, transcribing, describing, and posting interviews online. Volunteers shape the program, through their dedication and creativity.

For more information, call the Volunteer Services Office at 303-441-3114 or visit our volunteer page.

Using Interviews

MROHP encourages the public use of interviews (or excerpts) for educational purposes. The collection is copyrighted under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Oral histories may be used for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to the Carnegie Library for Local History. Here is how we suggest that attribution be worded: “Oral histories contributing to this _____ (book, documentary, etc.) were accessed from the Carnegie Library for Local History, Boulder, Colorado.” If quotes are pulled directly from an interview, source citation must include a title and call number, e.g. “Oral History Interview with ________, OHXXXX.”

Access our online interviews

For More Information

For more information on the collection, to refer someone to be interviewed, or to inquire about becoming a volunteer for the Maria Rogers Oral History Program, visit the Carnegie Branch Library for Local History at 1125 Pine Street in Boulder, Colorado or call 303-441-1981.

View or print our Interview Donation form.

Oral history interviews may be copied for patrons who are using them for personal, research and/or educational purposes only. Complete and return the  Oral History request form for a copy of an oral history interview.

To help support the work of the oral history program, please print out our form for making a tax-deductible monetary donation to the Maria Rogers Oral History Program.