Since 1948, the Minnesota Historical Society has used oral history to document Minnesota’s past and present. The Oral History Collection of the Minnesota Historical Society includes more than 1600 interviews with Minnesotans from across the state. Beginning in 1984, the Society has also operated a video history program to complement a number of its oral history projects. In 2009 the Oral History office began digitizing its entire collection and today can boast the largest digitized collection in the country. Full audio interviews and transcripts are now available online.
Oral history provides a rich resource of information that usually does not exist in any other form. The Society’s Oral History Collection includes information on such topics as politics, business, labor, agriculture, the environment, ethnicity, religion, and education. These and other topics are part of an oral history program that documents specific issues in the state’s history and current affairs.
The Society’s Oral History Office also offers advice and workshops to civic and community groups interested in using oral history in their own work. The PDF’s below have been produced by the Oral History Office as helpful guides that highlight some best practices to consider when undertaking your own oral history project.