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Michigan State University

Narrative in the College Classroom: Online resources

Oral histories available at other institutions

Oral History Online is an index to oral history projects at institutions throughout North America. Many (but not all) of the projects offer transcripts online. You must logon with your MSUnet ID and password.

Michigan Oral History Database indexes oral history collections in Michigan. (There's some overlap with Oral History Online.) This resource is available to the public.

Online collections from MSU's Vincent Voice Library

Oral history collections which are publicly available and hosted by the MSU's Vincent Voice Library:

  • Hiroshima Nagasaki Download is a documentary film by Shinpei Takeda about the 1945 atomic bombing of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which forced the end of World War II. To make the film, Takeda interviewed 58 survivors who now live in the Americas. The complete audio files are available online; most are 45-90 minutes.
  • The Lansing Auto Town Gallery houses interviews with men and women from the automobile assembly industry in Lansing: members and employees of UAW Local 602, Fisher Body, and Diamond REO.
  • Interviews with Michigan Writers were conducted here at the MSU Libraries over the past 20 years. Interviews with Michigan Supreme Court Justices were conducted on behalf of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society.
  • The Women's Overseas Service League was founded in 1921 by women who had served in World War II. This collection of 162 oral histories includes women who served in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War.

Full-text literature collections online

Most of the these databases provide stable URLs (which you can use to direct your students to the item you want them to read) for individual texts within the collection. If you need help finding these, please Ask a Librarian!

African Writers Series. Modern African fiction, drama, poetry, and prose.

Asian American Drama. Scripts for 252 plays by 42 playwrights, with related materials.

Black Drama 1850-Present. Scripts for 1462 plays by 233 playwrights, with related materials.

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-38.

English Drama. 3900 plays in verse and prose from the 1400s to the early 20th century.

Latin American Women Writers. Literature, drama, essays, memoirs, and related works.

Medieval Travel Writing. The main focus is accounts of journeys to the Holy Land, India, and China.

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories. Covers 1850-1950.

North American Women's Letters and Diaries, Colonial-1950

The Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives, 1960-1974. About half the 150,000 pages here are letters, diaries, and oral history transcripts.

Twentieth-Century Drama. 2100 plays from around the English-speaking world, 1890s-present.

USC Shoah Foundation's Visual History Archive. 52,000 video testimonies by survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide during WWI, the Nanjing Massacre of 1937, and the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.

Voices from the Days of Slavery: Former Slaves Tell Their Stories. Recorded between 1932 and 1975. Audio quality varies, but there are transcripts accompanying the sound files.

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