Archive Tucson

What is oral history?


Oral history is the deliberate effort to think of the recent past historically and to record interviews with people who lived through historic events. This means an oral historian needs to look at events we take for granted and anticipate what will be important to coming generations.

Archive Tucson is our chance to tell the future about our world.

Oral histories are often long, detailed, and confront their listeners perspectives different than their own. The University of California Library's Oral History Center captures this in what must be one of the best disclaimer's ever written:

Because it is primary material, oral history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete narrative of events. It is a spoken account. It reflects personal opinion offered by the interviewee in response to questioning, and as such it is partisan, deeply involved, and irreplaceable.