Oral History of Technology
In a twist from this site’s theme, the technology of personal oral history, here are some links to collections of oral histories of technology (thanks to some semi-recent discussion of the Oral History mailing list)
Academic institutions. Caltech is in my regional neighborhood. So’s Harvey Mudd. I’m interested in the other big tech institution across the country, MIT (Massachussetts Institute of Technology), since my Grandmother (and uncle) graduated from there. (If you saw my movie where my Mother talks about her mother, you see old school newspapers from MIT)
Other institutions that might have oral history collections are: RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), Rensselaer, Georgia Tech, Stanford (see “Silicon Valley” below), Berkeley, Carnegie-Mellon. I’m sure there are others.
Women and technology and oral history brings up some interesting results…
- Women in Science and Engineering: “The Archives of Women in Science and Engineering ongoing Oral History Projects will document the experiences of American women in science and engineering.”
- IBM archives search results for “oral history” IBM archives search results for oral history; results pertain to women and tech.
The IBM site is an example of another place to look for tech and oral history sites: corporations. Large, well-established companies, mind you. See what they’re doing in the way of history. Here are companies to poke around in (these don’t have links, just suggestions) Hewlett Packard, Intel, Oracle, Microsoft, Apple, Xerox Parc, Lucent (the former Bell Labs), Westinghouse, Corning. General Electric’s historical archives are at the Schenectady Museum (my grandfather’s papers are housed there).
In the Silicon Valley, there are museums and campuses with relevant oral histories:
- The Computer History Museum (Silicon Valley) search results for “oral history”
- At Stanford: Doug Englebart and Bruce Deal Engelbart invented the computer mouse and Deal has been deep in semiconductor development
- Also at Stanford: History of semiconductors
- Semiconductor Museum
At the Smithsonian, the Lemelson Center for the study of Innovation and Invention has a list of oral histories
- IEEE (institute of electrical and electronic engineering Including collections of the RadLab (radar development), RCA, Japanese Electrical Engineers, Electrical Engineering at Stanford, and more.
- Association of Computing Machinery, or ACM Oral History
- ASME (american society of mechanical engineers) is seeking volunteers to conduct oral histories. No existing oral histories are catalogued or presented online.
- Chemical Heritage Foundation has over 300 oral histories
NASA Oral Histories
- This page contains a downloadable MS Word and MS Excel document with lists of interviews that are held at NASA HQ (Word) or at various NASA Centers (Excel)
- Johnson Space Center has online collections. Transcripts are downloadable PDFs
Thank you very much for MIT Oral History Collection. I have searched the list for a long time and at last I got it from your blog. Except this all other links are also very good.