Did you know the University of South Dakota houses the second largest collection of oral histories in North America?
I didn’t until I began my internship working at this amazing place on campus, and I couldn’t be happier to have found it!
The South Dakota Oral History Center contains almost 7,000 recordings on subjects of local and national significance.
We also house the Joseph H. Cash Library, which contains various kinds of written materials, as well as a large collection of photographs.
Our collections contain materials related to a wide variety of subjects, such as literature, history, languages, culture, music, art history, photography, social studies and journalism.
We are an especially great resource for those interested in American Indian studies and the history of the state of South Dakota and the Great Plains region.
So what is oral history, anyway?
Oral history can be a first-hand account of an event or a collection of stories from a person’s life. It provides both an “everyday” perspective and reveals aspects of history which are often excluded from “the big picture.”
Oral history isn’t just something from the past, either. The S.D. OHC provides resources for people to conduct their own oral history interviews regarding contemporary events and issues. Participants may choose to interview others, such as family or members of the community, or be interviewed about their own personal experiences.
If you are a student on campus, the S.D. OHC has many opportunities for internships, work study and graduate assistantships.
There are also many volunteer opportunities for members of the community. Work opportunities are highly flexible, and can be molded to serve the interests of specific individuals.
The S.D. OHC is located in Dakota Hall 12 and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Please contact Jen McIntyre (Jennifer.Mcintyre@usd.edu) for more information.We can also be found on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/SDOralHistoryCenter), Twitter (@SDOHC) and our new blog on Tumblr (http://sdoralhistorycenter.tumblr.com/).
See you in the basement,