Oral History and Individual Memory

While many accept the value of oral history in creating a historical narrative, and in bearing witness to another’s life, few organizations actively seek to collect and publish these testimonies as frequently as Voice of Witness does. With a structure similar to that of the Works Project Administration’s team of writers sent out to interview former slaves during the American Great Depression, VoW was created by two professors at University of California at Berkeley, VoW has published over ten books, memorializing, validating, and most of all, listening to the stories of everyone from victims of wrongful incarceration to Sudanese refugees.

Eliza Griswold, of Smithsonian Magazine creates a beautiful biography of the impact of the organization and its publications. Read it here