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Oral History Collaborations and Project Resources

An overview and resource list for oral history projects held in collaboration with Atkins Library Special Collections.

Community Based Oral History Projects

Are you interested in using oral history to document an aspect of local history and culture? We offer support for community oral history projects. We are available for consultations, to give oral history workshops tailored to specific needs, or to collaborate on an oral history project where it complements our collection goals.

Examples of Community Oral History Projects

Cultivating Common Ground
For the Cultivating Common Ground project, middle and high school youth from the Wilmore neighborhood in Charlotte, NC interviewed the senior citizens who work in their neighborhood's community garden. The teens documented the seniors' life stories and their interest in gardening on video and audio and also through photography. Additional materials available in J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNC Charlotte include a book, a student-produced video and promotional material. The project was funded by a grant from the Community Cultural Connections Program of the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Inc. and the Grassroots Grant Program of the North Carolina Arts Council. Additional support came from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Enterprise Foundation, the Junior League of Charlotte, Wing Haven Gardens and private donors. June Blotnick was the director of the project.


Catawba Lands Conservancy Perspectives on Land Project
Perspectives on Land was a pioneering initiative that aimed to document the human face of land conservation issues in the Catawba River basin. It was sponsored by the Catawba Lands Conservancy and the LandTrust for Central North Carolina. The interviews explore what land means to people in North Carolina's Southern Piedmont, how their identities were shaped by the places they live, and how they hope their landscape will look in the future. The Perspectives On Land team worked with residents of four rural communities to document their relationships to land through interviews and photography. The project was designed in particular to include more diverse segments of the local population in discussions of land protection. Gabriel Cumming was the project director.

Oral History Resources for Community Partners

Forms for Oral History Projects

The consent and release form:

  • Informs interviewees/narrators about the oral history process and how their oral history recording will be used
  • Obtains permission from interviewees/narrators to share their interview with the public
  • Establishes copyright ownership of the interview 

Without the consent and release form oral history interviews have limited value and cannot be archived. 

Interviewee/narrator biographical form:

The biographical form:

  • Establishes accurate information about an interviewee/narrator
  • Helps the interviewer become familiar with the interviewee/narrator before the interview
  • Assists with cataloging interviews that are archived 


Creating Forms:

For creating forms we suggest that you consult the following book:

Form for Collaborative Oral History Projects