Oral History Program Services and Resources

As one of Southeast Michigan's leading programs for the practice and teaching of oral history, the Eastern Michigan University Archives Oral History Program (OHP) records authentic life histories, documents historic events and unique memories of our times, provides public programming, and teaches archival research best practices across disciplines. OHP is housed within the University Archives in the Bruce T. Halle Library on the campus of Eastern Michigan University (EMU).

● Classes and Workshops
OHP Coordinator Matt Jones and University Archivist Alexis Braun Marks, with help from OHP graduate students, are occasionally available to lead workshops and informational sessions for individuals and/or organizations seeking to initiate projects, gather interviewees, create project workflows, and train interviewers. Each year, the EMU Archives and EMU Historic Preservation Program offer a course in oral history techniques which prepares interested students for work within the oral history program and is crosslisted with several academic departments across campus. Matt Jones can be reached at djones12@emich.edu for more information on how to get involved.

● Community Outreach
OHP works with local historical agencies, museums, community organizations and schools on various projects. Such activities include, but are not limited to training, workshops and demonstrations in partnership with the Michigan Oral History Association, EMU Archives Memory Swaps, community scanning events, and general support.

● Partnerships
OHP partners with universities, community groups, individuals, and non-governmental organizations to design, implement, and promote innovative oral history projects and programs. Anyone seeking to undertake oral history projects should contact Matt Jones at djones12 [at] emich.edu


● The EMU Aerie
The EMU Archives has created a mobile oral history recording booth intended to help in breaking down barriers to campus access. While a practical tool for the recording of oral histories in the wider community, the Aerie is also a teaching tool designed to get OHP members directly into the communities they are documenting, in order to build trust, understanding, and familiarity with our narrators and their communities. Anyone interested in procuring the Aerie for a public or private event should contact Matt Jones at djones12 [at] emich.edu

● Equipment Use
OHP loans oral history recording equipment to campus offices for appropriate projects.