Terms of Service is a a graphic novella about privacy and surveillance in the Internet age, by Josh Neufeld and Michael Keller, and presented by Jazeera. It combines elements of oral history, opinion journalism, and diary comics. The comic also advertises Pulp, a free and open-source library for webcomic layouts, maintained by AJAM.
The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training has an extensive archive of oral histories by and about individuals in the foreign service and also about countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
The Italian Garden Project Old world gardening know-how, traditions, recipes, memories and more... The mission of The Italian Garden Project™ is to celebrate the joy and wisdom inherent in the traditional Italian American vegetable garden, preserving this heritage and demonstrating its relevance for reconnecting to our food, our families, and the earth. For several years Mary Menniti has been documenting through video and oral history how her some of her first generation Italian immigrant neighbors have adapted traditional Old World gardening techniques and plants to Western Pennsylvania's less forgiving climates. One the gardens has even been included in the Smithsonian's Archive of American Gardens.
On the occasion of Speed's 20th anniversary, Hitfix presents an oral history of the movie, as told by the people on the bus.
The Making of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love'. An oral history from guitarist Jimmy Page and the engineers who helped place Robert Plant's vocals at the top of the charts.
'West Wing' Uncensored: Aaron Sorkin, Rob Lowe, More Look Back on Early Fears, Long Hours, Contract Battles and the Real Reason for Those Departures
Hack-a-Shaq, inconsistent officiating, poisoned room service, and the road to the last NBA three-peat: Grantland's oral history of the 2002 Western Conference finals. [more inside]
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Heathers. The hellscape of Westerburg High was the setting for a dark comedy about teenage cruelty, murder, and suicide (or rather, the media glorification of it). While the initial release was a commercial flop, critics praised the film. "Heathers may be the nastiest, cruelest fun you can have without actually having to study law or gird leather products,” wrote Desson Howe, and Janice Maslin likened the film to a “demonic sitcom.” [more inside]
"Anthony McIntyre made one thing clear: The project had to remain absolutely secret. If Boston College wanted him to interview former members of the Irish Republican Army, he needed that guarantee.... In those heady, early days, when talk of reconciliation dominated public discussion in Northern Ireland, no one imagined their project would get caught up in an international criminal investigation into a four-decade-old murder. How that happened is a tale of grand ambitions undermined by insular decision-making and careless oversight."
So Money. An oral history of Swingers.
Pavement's album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was released twenty years ago next month. Stereogum has the oral history.
Don't fight it. It's the year of the oral history. If there hasn't yet been an oral history on your favorite pop culture phenomenon, it won't be long. In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, how about starting with an oral history of Captain Marvel: The Series? Or perhaps you'd rather read about The Telluride Bluegrass Festival? If your taste runs more toward technology, check out an oral history of Apple design. More reading inside! [more inside]
The oral history of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back."
After the title character died at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fifth season (a season that included the death of Buffy's mom), the writers knew that the show had to be a little less dark in its sixth year. Hence the formation of The Trio, a triad of nerds who acted like they thought villains should act, got in way over their heads, and ended up, in the words of writer Drew Z. Greenberg, "tear[ing] the family apart in a way they’ve never been hurt before."
In 1984, Mike Lazaridis, an engineering student at the University of Waterloo, and Douglas Fregin, an engineering student at the University of Windsor, founded an electronics and computer science consulting company called Research In Motion, or RIM. For years the company tinkered in obscurity, until it focused on a breakthrough technology: an easy, secure, and effective device that allowed workers to send and receive e-mails while away from the office. They called it the BlackBerry.
The Hunt's Donuts Story Hunt’s Donuts was a thorn in the side of the police at the heart of a neighborhood that has always been a thorn in the side of the police. . [more inside]
From Texas Monthly, a brief oral history from Austin of The Most Important Taco of the Day (there is a recipe included!) At Slate, L.V. Anderson comments on the article noting, "Valera’s and Vasquez’s memories are proof that the mainstreaming of Mexican cuisine happened because Mexican immigrants worked hard in the face of racism, not in the absence of racism." The authors' website, Taco Journalism, has taco-related interviews and reviews.
When We Held Kings: The oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker, in which an amateur named Moneymaker turned $39 into $2.5 million and the poker boom was born.
Joe Moran reflects on the 1980s: "We like to give decades a uniform character as they retreat into history, safely burying the past by turning it into retro kitsch. The Observing the 1980s project is valuable because it does not treat the decade like this, as a story we already know the ending to. Instead it becomes an era of still-to-be-decided tensions and possibilities - one in which people sincerely people that David Steel might be prime minister (“my pin-up!” says one Mass Observer), that Margaret Thatcher might lose an election, or that the neo-liberal economic revolution might still be reversed. How I miss that sense of earnestness – and I mean that without a trace of irony." [more inside]
The Making of 'Pulp Fiction' as told by Quentin Tarantino and the cast. Plus ephemera, a QT death chart, and Marvin.
"TVGuide.com talked to stars John Noble (Dr. Walter Bishop), Joshua Jackson (Peter Bishop), Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham), Jasika Nicole (Astrid Farnsworth), Lance Reddick (Phillip Broyles), Blair Brown (Nina Sharp), Mark Valley (John Scott), series co-creator Abrams, executive producers J.H Wyman, Jeff Pinkner and Bryan Burk, Warner Bros. President Peter Roth and Fox's Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly about the bumpy road to the series finale, starting with the conception of the show. This is the first in a four-part series. Check out Part 2 and Part 3." (Part 4 is pending.)
"From the beginning, we thought that everything about the show should be painfully, painstakingly real."
My friends and I weren’t popular in high school, we weren’t dating all the time, and we were just trying to get through our lives. It was important to me to show that side. I wanted to leave a chronicle—to make people who had gone through it laugh, but also as a primer for kids going in, to say, “Here’s what you can expect. It’s horrifying but all you should really care about is getting through it. Get your friends, have your support group. And learn to be able to laugh at it.”The Oral History of Freaks and Geeks [more inside]
"I have never, ever, ever admitted to being a member of the I.R.A. — never — and I’ve just done it here."
As reported in this article in the Guardian, a US appeals court recently ruled that confidential oral history interviews given by former members of Northern Irish paramilitary groups to researchers from Boston College are not confidential. [more inside]
The Indian Memory Project "is an online, curated, visual and oral-history based archive that traces a personal history of the Indian Subcontinent, its people, cultures, professions, cities, development, traditions, circumstances and their consequences." See for example, Sarees, or Migration.
During WWII, nearly 6 million women joined the workforce. Metafilter's talked about "Rosie the Riveters" previously, but we've never heard from these women in their own words.
The Family Hour: An Oral History of The Sopranos
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EDIE FALCO (Carmela Soprano): After we shot the pilot, David said, “Well, that was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, no one will ever watch this show, but you guys have been great.” And that was the end. Or so we thought.
Quest for the Perfect Bourbon: Voices of Buffalo Trace Distillery is a documentary from the Buffalo Trace Oral History Project, part of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Tobar an Dualchais will keep you busy for awhile. It's a collection of over 26,000 oral recordings made in Scotland, from the 1930s onward. Folklore, songs, music, history, poetry, oh my. Includes some fascinating material from Belle Stewart, the McPake Sisters of Peebles and John the Bard.
When we did "Beat It," Michael came in the van with us to scout locations. I remember saying, "I'm hungry, let's stop for a pizza." Michael said, "Oh good, I've never had a pizza." This is a 25-year-old man who'd never had pizza. Now he wasn't accessible like that. He was a superstar, but then he became a deity.I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution is a hugely readable and fun new oral history of the first decade of MTV. Veteran music writers Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum interviewed many of the era's major players, putting a microscope on the biggest, weirdest, and most memorable videos of the time, and [Pitchfork is] thrilled to present the following excerpt.
"Driving Jersey represents and reflects the most misunderstood and misrepresented place and people in all of America." In this series of calmly paced, short documentaries featuring profiles, atmosphere, landscape, and interviews, filmmakers Steve Rogers and Ryan Bott travel 21 counties to capture some of the true character and cultural nuance of the Garden State. [more inside]
As Wikipedia expanded to lesser known languages it ran into a problem: What is knowledge for Wikipedia purposes? Traditionally knowledge has been defined by citations, but many languages don't have a lot of written material, greatly limiting what could be created on Wikipedia. The solution (NYT) may be that People are Knowledge (45min), a project funded by a Wikimedia Foundation grant.
Images of a People's Movement - more than 18 pages of photos and dozens of first-hand narratives, interviews & recollections of the 1951-1968 Southern Freedom Movement by the Civil Rights Movement Veterans. (These are just samplings - it's a deep and rich site.) [more inside]
The George Ewart Evans collection of oral interviews on rural English life. 250 recordings of interviews and songs made by oral history pioneer George Ewart Evans between 1956 and 1977, many in Suffolk, with a smaller number in Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Reginal Hoskins the thresher, Annie Cable the kitchen maid, Baron Rhodes of Saddleworth. They're all pretty fascinating.
This documentary is the story of two Mennonite brothers from Manitoba who were forced to make a decision in 1939, as Canada joined World War II. In the face of 400 years of pacifist tradition, should they now go to war? Ted became a conscientious objector while his brother went into military service. Fifty years later, the town of Winkler dedicates its first war memorial and John begins to share his war experiences with Ted. [more inside]
StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit fostering and preserving meaningful conversations between two people who are important to each other. The vignettes are addictive little heart-grabbers, some unearthing long-held secrets. Here's a sampling: I don't know anything about white people; A son's premonition; Bathtub gin; Adoption; Two canoes; Where's the colored section?; Good hugger; Court every day; A schmear; Stonewall memories; and one video animation - a charming talk between a 12 year old with Asperger's and his Mom. There are hundreds more. [more inside]
On a snowy Valentine's Day weekend in Michigan Sid Meier creates a game in 48 hours called Escape from Zombie Hotel! He's there to judge a 48 hour game design contest at his alma mater, University of Michigan but decides to also work on a game alongside the student teams. He also talks about his career, focusing on his early days. This is the third installment of motherboard.tv's Oral History of Gaming series. The first profiles Ralph Baer, the inventor of the first home gaming console, and the second is about Eric Zimmerman, designer of Sissyfight. Sadly, the awesome-looking Escape from Zombie Hotel has note been released, but the oher games designed during the contest are available here. [via Rock Paper Shotgun]
Eileen Myles on ACT UP-New York in Artforum Myles' review of an ACT UP NY art retrospective at Harvard's Carpenter Center is a thoughtful essay in its own right. A more straight(?)-forward review of that exhibition from Frieze Magazine. And, for good measure, "The ACT UP Oral History Project is a collection of interviews with surviving members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York." The Oral History Project is on special display at the Carpenter Center.
"If I thought, had any idea, that I’d ever be a slave again, I’d take a gun and just end it all right away." Audio recordings from interviews with former slaves, conducted by WPA folklorists and others, including the Lomaxes and Zora Neale Hurston. Only these twenty-six audio recordings of people formerly enslaved in the antebellum American South have ever been found.
Marin County Oral History "From 1974 to 1984, Carla Ehat, with partner Anne Kent, and later Genevieve Martinelli, traveled from one end of Marin County [California] to the other, interviewing a broad spectrum of Marin's long-time residents, ranging from ranchers to politicians and including descendents of early pioneer families." Each link on the list includes a photo, bio, full text of the interview, and, the best part, short audio excerpts from the interviews. Many of the folks interviewed were born in the 1880s or 1890s.
The BBC World Service has put together a special report on the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe (they also have a simpler portal). There is a wealth of material, including TV reports on key events from the BBC archives, interviews, a map timeline, a report on Catholicism's role in the 1989 revolutions, a first-hand report of what it was like to gather news in East Germany during that time and much more.
The Sixties Project - The Sixties Project began as a collective of humanities scholars working together on the Internet to use electronic resources to provide routes of collaboration and make available primary and secondary sources for researchers, students, teachers, writers and librarians interested in the Sixties. [more inside]
The Niels Bohr Library & Archives has completed a project to transcribe its collection of more than 500 oral histories of physics, including a few audio snippets of the interviews. And, if you'd like to put a face with that voice, check out the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives. [via] [more inside]
Mapping sound at the British Library. The British Library has organized several of its archival sound collections on Google Maps. The results include Accents and Dialects, wildlife and soundscape recordings from Britain, music from India and Uganda, and a whole mess of noisy frogs. [more inside]
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