Oral History Online is a landmark database of English language oral histories. It contains at present more than 34,000 pages of full-text content that is available exclusively in Alexander Street Press databases. This full-text material includes Ellis Island oral history narratives and rare Black Panther Party interviews. With each quarterly update of Oral History Online, we will add more of such proprietary (in-copyright) full-text interviews.
Oral History Online is also an index to free oral history information on the Web. Working with archives, repositories and individuals, we've indexed oral histories held by organizations around the world. We create a bibliographic record for each indexed item, and these records contain Alexander Street's Semantic Indexing™, allowing you to search by various fields as well as with keyword searching of every interview. In many instances, your search results will link to full-text, audio, or video. There are more than 100,000 index entries and more than a million tags, to provide an organized structure and in-depth searching to the following:
- Repositories: For all repositories that collect oral histories we provide a basic record detailing the contact details for that repository, some indication of what the repository contains and - where available - links to the repository Web site. Our goal is to cover every repository in the world that has oral histories in English.
- Collections: We aim to cover all English language collections held by repositories, archives and institutions of higher learning around the world. We have identified these collections through our editorial board, through oral history associations, and through catalogs and directories.
- Interviews: Where possible we have included interview level records. These records have been created from records supplied to us by repositories, from re-keying catalogs, and directly by our indexers. In some cases these records contain no more than the narrator name. In other cases we've been able to construct a full 25 field record. The exact level of indexing depends on the material that has been made available to us from the repository that holds the material.
- Interviews with full-text: In cases where a transcription is available we are able to provide rich, semantic indexing with more than 20 fields of metadata, including the ability to search the text in the same way that Google does. We provide links to collections that are freely held on the Web and selected for-fee collections.
- Interviews with audio or video: We also indicate the presence of multi-media on external Web sites. Users are led from our indexing directly to external Web sites that contain this material.