Query: Seeking oral histories of migrants online

Shira Klein's picture

Can anyone suggest online oral histories of immigrants? Any group, to/from any place (including U.S.), at any period. I am designing an upper-division course on "Migration in World History." For the research paper, students will analyze an immigrant's oral history. I'm seeking to put together as comprehensive a list as possible.

Please reply off-list. I'm happy to share the final list I prepare with anyone interested.

Thanks in advance,

Shira Klein, Chapman University, sklein@chapman.edu

Hi Shira,

This is a wonderful idea! Thanks for your query. I would be very interested in any list you compile and, if you would be so kind to share it here on H-Migration, that would be welcome too.

I am running an oral history project at Stanislaus State this year to collect and transcribe oral histories documenting California's Assyrian American community. The project will be completed too late to help you this year, but maybe the next time you offer this course.

I look forward to any responses H-Migration members might be able to offer.
Stacy Fahrenthold

Dear Shira,

The National Archives of Singapore has some oral history interviews online at http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/oral_history_interviews/

Considering that about 100 years ago many immigrants arrived in Singapore, there are bound to be oral histories of immigrants.

Immigrant Stories from the University of Minnesota's Immigration History Research Center is an excellent resource. I've used it in the classroom, and my students have successfully incorporated the oral histories into research papers. It's user friendly, has both videos and transcriptions of oral histories, and contains accounts representing numerous countries of origin.


William S. Cossen
The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology

The oral history collection, translated into English, titled "California-Russian Emigre Series," part of Berkeley's oral history project, is entirely on-line and contains several oral histories of refugees/migrants who discuss life in several countries of exile, including China, the Balkans and the U.S. They were mainly conducted in the 1960s. Fedoulenko's is particular good for teaching.

See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/ROHO/collections/subjectarea/ics_movements/russia.html

Laurie Manchester

Associate Professor of History

Arizona State University

I taught an immigration course at the University of Wyoming for several years and some of those student-conducted oral histories can be found at: http://repository.uwyo.edu/ioh/


JoAnna Poblete Associate

Professor of History

Claremont Graduate University

I manage immigration detention storytelling projects for the non-profit Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), and I suggest viewing some of our projects which contain oral histories from detention:

IMM Print (immigration detention stories blog): imm-print.com

Immigration Detention Syllabus: "On the Inside: Stories from Immigration Detention": https://imm-print.com/on-the-inside-stories-from-immigration-detention-669a7480db76

"On History": https://imm-print.com/on-history-9113d1a4ea18

"Detention Stories: Life Inside California's New Angel Island": http://www.endisolation.org/detention-stories/

"Community Bonds: Life Inside Immigration Detention in Massachusetts": http://www.communitybondsfilms.com

Tina Shull, Ph.D. Editor-in-Chief, IMM Print