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Columbia University Oral History Collection

Location: Microfiche Cabinet 17 Drawer 9-10


The Columbia University Oral History Collection is a collection of over 1000 transcripts of  individual oral interviews of people from the 20th century  who have contributed significantly to society or who were close affiliates of world leaders.  More than 30 subject and special project areas are represented including:  Arts: Dance, Aviation, Business/Industry/Finance, International Affairs/Diplomacy, Labor, Law, Military Affairs, New Deal, Politics/Public Affairs, Religion, Women Pioneers & Professionals and many more.

Some of the Special Projects include:

  • Aviation Project
  • Business
  • Children’s Television Workshop Project
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York Project
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower Administration Project
  • Labor
  • Law
  • Military History
  • New Deal
  • Naval History Project
  • Occupation of Japan Project
  • Popular Arts Project
  • Radio Pioneers Project
  • Publishing
  • Social Security Project
  • Socialist Movement Project
  • Adlai E. Stevenson Project

Pickler Library has Parts I – VI of the Columbia University Oral History Collection.

How to search the collection

Most, but not all, of the titles in the Columbia University Oral History Collection  are cataloged in Truman’s Library Catalog  and can be searched by author, title, series,  keyword or subject. The Library Catalog record gives the location as Microfiche Cabinet 17, Drawer 9-10 as well as the part number under which each item is alphabetically arranged by the person’s last name.

There is an index to the Columbia University Oral History Collection on top of Microfiche Cabinet 17.  It has a master list of all of the people interviewed for Parts I -V.  The master list tells in which part you will find the  person located.  There are subject indexes in the guide for Parts I -V.  Part VI has a separate master list.  There is also a master list of interviewed people alphabetically arranged by the author’s last name for each part.  All of the microfiche are filed in the cabinet by part number then alphabetically by the person’s last name. There is also a master listing of the interviews available through the Columbia University Oral History Research Office.

Another guide, The Oral History Collection of Columbia University, edited by Elizabeth B. Mason and Louis M. Starr, is available for searching the collection.  This guide introduces subject headings designed to help find individual memoirs and special projects that are pertinent. There are also entries which indicate that someone is “discussed in” a  particular memoir or in several memoirs and projects.  These entries are not comprehensive, but rather suggestive, calling attention to memoirs or special projects in which there are substantive references about that person.


Columbia University Oral History Collection Index Parts I -VI (on top of Cabinet 17)

Mason, Elizabeth B. and Louis M. Starr, eds. The Oral History Collection of Columbia University . New York : Oral History Research Office, 1979 (Micro Reference  E 169.1 C6 1979)

How to cite:  The form of citation normally used is “The Reminiscences of Norman Thomas, Part II (1965), p. 149, in the Oral History Collection  of Columbia University, hereafter Thomas, COHC.”


For more information about this subject in our Library Catalog, check out these
Subject Categories:

Oral history.

United States -- Civilization -- History -- Sources.

Time Period: 20th Century  

Subject keywords: Agriculture, Art, Architecture & Design, Business and Economics, Civil Rights, Education, Journalism, Law, Military History, Popular Culture, Religion and Philosophy, Science, Travel and Exploration, U. S. Politics, Women's Studies