The Oral History Program
- 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 Library Foundation (BLF) to endow the program and fund a coordinator position. With this endowment, the program was named the Maria Rogers Oral History Program (MROHP).
- 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 skill, dedication, and creativity.
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 are speaking about their individual history and experiences and “topic” interviews, where narrators give their perspectives on a subject that is being explored.
- 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.
Participate in the Oral History Program
If you want to learn more about becoming an oral-history volunteer, or if you have an idea about someone who should be interviewed, contact the Program Coordinator, Cyns Nelson [email protected] or 303-441-1981.
MROHP encourages the use of interviews for research and/or educational purposes. The collection is copyrighted under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License. When oral histories are used, they must be attributed to the Carnegie Library. Here is how we suggest the 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.”
Patrons may obtain copies of oral histories by submitting the Oral History Request Form.