Center for Oral History

Celebrating Community Knowledge for Social Change

The Center for Oral History (COH), in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, collects, documents, preserves and highlights the recollections of Native Hawaiians and the multi-ethnic people of Hawaiʻi. It produces oral histories and interpretive historical materials about lifeways, key historic events, social movements and Hawaiʻi’s role in the globalizing world, for the widest possible use.

COH was first established in 1976 by the Hawaiʻi State Legislature as a part of the Social Science Research Institute in the College of Social Sciences at UH Mānoa. COH also develops books, articles, podcasts, and videos based on oral histories, serves as a resource center for oral history materials, and trains groups and individuals in oral history research

UPDATED FLYER: 1/24/19 (Thurs) 6 - 8 pm @uhkapiolani for our program "Waikīkī: Restoring the Waters," including excerpts from our podcast, a talk story panel, and free dinner. Enjoy stories from our archive as we think about how to restore Waikīkī's resources. #oralhistory

Save the date - 1/24/19 (Thurs) 6 - 8 pm @uhkapiolani for our program "Waikīkī: Restoring the Waters," including excerpts from our podcast, a talk story panel, and free dinner. Enjoy stories from our archive as we think about how to restore Waikīkī's resources. #oralhistory

Apply for @VocesProject's Summer Institute! It's five days of intensive workshops for faculty & graduate students wishing to use oral history in research. For more details go to: @OHAnetwork @UTexasMoody @UTJSchool @Smithsonian_LVM @PewHispanic @NAHJ

This #ThrowbackThursday we look back to Abbie Reese's workshop with us in 2013, ""Monastic Silence a Visual Dialogue."" in which she discusses her oral history project with an enclosed community that values anonymity and monastic silence. Check it out at:

I was on ⁦⁦@wuky⁩ this week talking #oralhistory #ohms #archives #museums technology bluegrass music and #Bourbon. Hear bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, master distiller Fred Noe, we even talk ⁦⁦⁦⁦⁦⁦⁦⁦@AustAmFulbright⁩

Saving Stories: Nunn Center's Tech Advances Create More Interactive Museum Experiences

In this edition of Saving Stories which we really should re-name Sharing Stories we learn more about how UK's Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History an...

Can the Wikimedia platform help solve Oral History’s biggest problem - transcribing and digitizing unprocessed oral histories? Current student Darold Cuba explores this possibility in a reflection of a talk presented by Doug Boyd. Check it out at:

Welcome back! Help us kick off the new year by heading over to the blog for the first post of 2019 . This week the Freedom Archives reflect on the role that oral histories within the archive play in creating deeper understandings and decolonizing the past.

The Freedom Archives and Decolonizing the Past

The Freedom Archives is a non-profit educational archive located in San Francisco dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of historical audio,...

OHMA alum Leyla Vural has been working on an #oralhistory project with scientists from Rockefeller Univeristy. Currently, the project’s website features mini-documentaries about their lives and work. Check out this article to learn more about the project:

Rockefeller scientists tell their stories in new oral history project - News

There are fascinating aspects of scientific research that you will never read about in academic journals. Peer reviewers may be tireless in asking aut...

Kicking off our #oralhistory interviews here at #ajs18 with literary scholar and author of hot-off-the-press book Queer Expectations: A Genealogy of Jewish Women’s Poetry — and the interview was in #Yiddish to boot.

In the third installment of our series exploring behind the scenes at OHR, our book review editor talks about what it takes to be a reviewer for the journal. We always are looking for smart readers like you to take on a book or media project to review!

Behind the Scenes at OHR: The Reviewer

In the third installment of our series exploring behind the scenes at OHR, book review editor Nancy MacKay talks about what it takes to be a reviewer...

Check out @garykubota's newest book, "Hawaii Stories of Change — Kokua Hawaii Oral History Project," which can be accessed online through our UH Manoa ScholarSpace page. Find the book in its entirety, or individual oral history interview transcripts at

Oral history offers an opportunity to recompose intergenerational ties. One oral history project encourages high school students to interview and undertake analysis of those who lived through dictatorial regimes in Argentina and Spain. from @oralhistreview

Our #MondayMotivation today is Frances Luna. From watching her parents' generation pay poll taxes to registering people to vote and becoming an elections judge, Luna knows first hand the value of voting. #VocesProject

Have you ever looked through our catalogue at our (often mammoth) interview summaries? Have you ever wondered who writes these sometimes rather clunky pieces of prose and why? Well, now you can find out!

The unseen work of the oral history summariser

Oral History Curator Mary Stewart reflects on the contributions of volunteers to the oral history collections, particularly remembering the sterling w...

Registration is now open for our next "Getting Started with #oralhistory" online e-workshop, scheduled for consecutive Wednesdays, February 6 & 13, 2019! A fee of $100 covers 6 hours of instruction + access to useful documents/forms. Register here:

On this Pearl Harbor anniversary, we'd like to highlight our Living Stories segment which includes veterans' #oralhistory memories of this dark day: (1/2)

CALL FOR PAPERS REMINDER: Just 2 weeks left to get your proposals in for our 2019 #conference on #Oralhistory @ #Work @Llafur @SwanseaUni. Closes 14 Dec. Further info: @pplscollection @PHMMcr @LabourHistory @unitetheunion @marxlibrary @wcmlibrary #OH@Work

Tamara Butler, #MSU Assistant Professor of English and African American Studies, researches the untold stories of the Black women who have lived, thrive, and find joy on Johns Island, SC. Learn more about their #MSUResilience in the 2018 Dean's Report.

While you’re waiting for the turkey to roast on Thursday, take the opportunity to interview your family members—young and old—about the traditions, recipes, games, and memories they hold dear. We’ll help you get started:

Enjoy this clip of Yiddish vaudeville child singer/performer Shirley Schachter Katz describing WEVD Yiddish radio’s studio. To hear more stories from Shirley and other Yiddish child performers follow the link to our new Yiddish child stars web page!

It came! I met the author at the @OHAnetwork conference in Montreal last month and told her: “you wrote the book I need!” Excited to learn more about incorporating this new passion into my old passion 🙂

Our One-Day Oral History Training Workshop is back! Join us on Jan 26 for an intensive day of workshops with OHMA faculty & alumni. Check out the page to see what to look forward to & remember to register - this event is set to fill up fast!

Registration is now open for Groundswell's online class on "Oral History Editing: Theory & Practice." Click here to register:

Join us tomorrow from 4:30pm to 5:30pm for our first podcast and talk story about the 1956 tsunami that devastated Hilo.

The team behind the "Six by Ten" book @voiceofwitness, have blogged about their work with the Prison University Project to create #oralhistory courses to introduce students to the #oralhistory process & give them an opportunity to practice interview skills

Oral History from San Quentin Prison

These students at San Quentin Prison are working together to transcribe and publish their stories using oral history techniques.

Exciting news! @enemyalien is #nowavailable for #streaming on @iTunes! Click here now to purchase:

RESISTANCE is also available on #DVD via our website:

Check out this #powerful film today!

Hawaii Public Radio - UH Oral History Project Shares Voices and Stories of Hawaii's Past @

Picture the Homeless #oralhistory Project archives the hard work of @pthny. Lynn Lewis, @CU_OralHistory alum, will be joining us for our Open Day on the 25th where she will talk about her involement with the project. To learn more & listen to interviews:


Visit the post for more.

Congratulations to Kim-Hee Wong, a graduate of our @uhm_es department, for being selected as the first ever Honoring the Scholars of Indigenous Oral History Award at @CU_OralHistory! Learn more about Kim-Hee and her research @

Oral History, Radical Honesty and #metoo in our Challenging Times: Reflections on this Year’s Annual Meeting @

#tbt Honolulu Stadium

Photo shared by Michael S. Teruya

Slide back through time with us as we toggle back and forth between historic photographs of @Smithsonian buildings to images of what they look like today! --> #ThrowbackThursday #tbt

Stories to Save Lives is a major new initiative by @SOHPoralhistory to collect oral histories in rural North Carolina communities that inform health care research, practice and policy.

#CherokeeNation opened a new exhibit at the @SmithsonianNMAI in #WashingtonDC. “A Story of Cherokee Removal” shares the story of removal on the infamous Trail of Tears from the Cherokee perspective. It's on display only through December. Details:

Such an informative & inspiring talk! Dr. Hardy shared his students’s impressive work in #DigitalHistory, explained how he & others helped them produce it, & enthusiastically promoted #DigitalHumanities as the necessary future of academia. We’re doing the same at @OralHistCentre!

Dr. Janis Thiessen on Twitter

“Alex Freund, Director of @OralHistCentre at @uwinnipeg, is introducing Charles Hardy of @WCUofPA, the Bonnycastle lecturer. Hardy will be speak...

Home from #oha2018 and excited to find the new issue of @oralhistreview in my box, including this piece by Portelli:

#OTD in 1994 former #COPH director and @CSUF_History professor, Art Hansen interviewed Ben Kuroki. A Nisei from Nebraska, Kuroki talked about being one of the first Japanese Americans to enlist in the Air Force, & going on to serve in 58 combat missions during #WWII

NEW 👉🏾 “I remember that we were walking into that building where the school board met and looking up the barrel of a Texas Ranger’s rifle. They were on the roof with guns pointed down at us." MORE:
#VocesProject #OralHistory

#OTD in 2007 Lowell Benton was interviewed by @CSUF_History graduate, Janet Tanner, for the El Toro MCAS #OralHistory project. Benton, shown here with wife Billie, shared memories of Pearl Harbor, joining the Army during #WWII, and overseeing farming at El Toro.

The new search interface includes two newsworthy features: first, you can now search the full text of interviews across the entire collection of close to 4000 #oralhistory transcripts. Stories and information previously hidden like needles in a vast haystack are now accessible!

Happy Birthday, Princess Kaʻiulani!

Studio portrait of Princess Victoria Kaʻiulani of Hawaiʻi photographed in San Francisco, 1889. Inscribed "V. Kaiulani" on the front of the photo. Photo by Taber, San Francisco; Bishop Museum Archives (SP 44750).

Takeaways from #OHA2018: listen first, use oral history to teach students life skills, Montreal is breathtaking in autumn, and #OHMS is all.

The boss is working on a presentation and wanted some cool #women #photographs from our Official Personnel Folders (OPFs). We thought they were so cool we should share here, as well! Pictured are #WASP Ellen Gery in leather & #BIA employee Frances Lachapa in full glam.

Calling all #oralhistory friends in #Donegal - don't forget to come along to our FREE networking event on Saturday in Letterkenny! Register here:

Metadata is essential.

If you can’t find a file, does it really exist? Preserve good metadata along with your electronic records.


Hawaiian language course now available on Duolingo

👀 #Kahoolawe workshops focus on sustainability, indigenous science - @uhm_es Professor Davianna McGregor is leading a team of faculty members organizing two workshops on the island. Read more here: #UHinTheCommunity #UHsustainability

👀 Davianna Pōmaika’i McGregor named Center for Oral History director - The center produces oral histories and interpretive historical materials about lifeways, key historic events, social movements & #Hawaii’s role in the globalizing world - #FacesOfManoa