DC Oral History Collaborative

DCOHC_LogoThe DC Oral History Collaborative is a project of the DC Public Library executed by HumanitiesDC and the Historical Society of Washington, DC.  The Collaborative is part of the Humanities Grant Program supported with funding from the District of Columbia Government through the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

In 2016, DC Councilmember David Grosso expressed an interest in helping residents of the District gain access to hundreds of oral histories that illuminate our shared history but are difficult to find – and the DC Oral History Collaborative was born. The DC Oral History Collaborative documents and preserves the stories and memories of DC residents as communities experience change and as residents age. The Collaborative increases awareness of existing oral history recordings and gives residents the training and financial resources they need to conduct new first-rate interviews.

As part of this initiative, the DC Oral History Collaborative has identified archives, museums, libraries, and organizations that hold oral history collections relevant to the city and its residents, and has surveyed these repositories to identify appropriate oral histories, collect metadata on their contents, and assess their accessibility and state of preservation.

In addition to funding over two dozen projects a year through the annual grant application, the DC Oral History Collaborative provides oral history trainings and an oral history finding guide.

Collections Survey

The Collaborative created a Survey of Existing DC-related Oral History Collections (aka a Collections Survey) which provides the public access to invaluable recordings already held by dozens of institutions throughout the city.

Oral History Trainings

The Collaborative trains grant recipients and individual volunteers who will then conduct interviews with some of the city’s most memorable figures.  Trainings and other workshops and activities are offered at various time throughout the year.  Check back often to the DC Oral History Collaborative Training Opportunity page for details.

To Apply

HumanitiesDC is accepting three categories of applications for the Oral History Collaborative. After downloading and reading the Request for Proposal, go to the Grant Application Portal to apply. Visit the DC Oral History Collaborative Grants page for application details.

Sample of Past AwardeesPartnerLogoBar

Buzzard Point Oral History Project

Mount Pleasant Riot Oral History Project

Whitman-Walker Health Oral History Project

For More Information

Visit the DC Oral History Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages or contact Anna Kaplan at anna.kaplan@dcoralhistories.org.