>>>  How to do Oral History | What To Talk About | Equipment | Questions and Answers

How to Do Oral History

  Oral histories help us find the stories behind images such as this photo of a Second Lieutenant of the Oklahoma National Guard treating a child during a combat medical mission in Kuwait in 1991.  

Doing oral history is fun, easy and very satisfying. Meeting and talking with women who have served their country gives you a window onto history—and sometimes a ringside seat.

At the same time, there is nothing magical about interviewing people. All you need is time, some simple equipment and willingness to listen.

Oral histories build a bridge between the past and the present. Listening to someone's memories helps us see the connections between the way things used to be and the way things are now.

To help you do oral histories with your family or in your community, the Women's Memorial Foundation has published a new guide, HerStory: An Oral History Handbook for Collecting Military Women's Stories. This guidebook, available for $5 plus tax from the Memorial's Gift Shop, contains complete instructions on how to conduct oral histories and donate them to the Memorial's collection.

The guide also includes a timeline of significant events in military women's history, a bibliography of standard reference works and information on the Women's Memorial Foundation's partnership with the Library of Congress's Veterans History Project.