Oral Histories

Studs Terkel popularized the writing of oral histories in the late 1960s with the publication of Division Street: America. Since that time, he has created collections of oral histories on topics ranging from the Great Depression to race relations. One of his most popular collections is Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. First published in 1974, this collection assembles the stories of people who work in coal mines, sell cars, shine shoes, and do hundreds of other kinds of jobs. Beginning in the year 2000, students in the Sophomore Humanities class at Clark Magnet H.S. began interviewing family members, their neighbors, and people in retirement homes about the kinds of work they did. This is a collection of their interviews.

In addition to the topic of work, students since 2000 have also interviewed people about their interest or involvement in significant events of the 20th century and their remembrances of great changes in the 20th century. My grandmother's history is what first got me interested in having students do oral histories. You can read her oral history here as well.

- Chris Davis
20th Century Events
Small Town Life and Factory Work
(2000, 2005, 2008)
20th Century Changes
(2004 and 2007)
Repressive Goverments (2006)