Oral History Collection
The Minnesota Historical Society has used oral history since 1948 as a means of documenting Minnesota's past and present. The Society's oral history collection now includes hundreds of interviews with Minnesotans from all walks of life and all corners of the state. Topics, chosen to explore specific issues in the state's history and current affairs, include politics, business, labor, agriculture, the environment, ethnicity, religion and education.
Oral history provides a rich source of information that usually does not exist in any other form. Interviews are recorded on audio tape, and many include transcripts that allow easy access to the material. Since 1984 the Historical Society has also operated a video history program to complement a number of its oral history projects.
In addition to undertaking its own projects, the Society's Oral History Office offers advice and workshops for civic and community groups interested in using oral history and video history to document their work.
The Society's Oral History Office has also produced two helpful guides that highlight some best practices to consider when undertaking your own oral history project.
Searching the Collection
Many Oral History interviews are listed in the library catalog. To search the catalog, enter the name of the individual or subject of the interview:
For interviews not cataloged, see the Oral History Collection Description Sheets located in the Library.
Find information about the copy services available at the Society.
How to Donate
Donating items to the Society's collections.