Over 2,100 oral history recordings are available from the Mansfield Library's Archives and Special Collections. Physical copies of many of our oral history sound recordings and transcripts are available for checkout and can be found using the library's online catalog, OneSearch.
Tips for Finding Oral Histories on OneSearch
To learn more about using OneSearch, watch this short video.
Once you've located an oral history in OneSearch that you'd like to checkout, find the physical copy on Level 4 of the Mansfield Library, just outside the Montana Room. The transcripts and indexes are in separate file cabinets from the audio cassettes, but the cases are available to browse any time the library is open. To locate the Mansfield Library, view a campus map by clicking here. To locate Level 4 or Archives and Special Collections, view a library map by clicking here.
Over 1,100 oral history interviews in the Mansfield Library's Archives and Special Collections are available online via ScholarWorks. Most of them have been transcribed so you can listen to the audio, or read a print version of it. The audio and / or transcripts on ScholarWorks may be downloaded for free.
To learn more about using ScholarWorks, watch this short video.
The oral history interviews available on ScholarWorks are organized alphabetically by the title of the specific oral history project or collection. The stand-alone oral histories have also been pulled together by topic such as Montana Dude Ranches, Montana Communities, Religion in Montana, Settlers, Homesteaders, Ranchers, and Farmers, Montana Educators, Land Use, Forestry, and Conservation, and Montana Businesses.
To find individual interviews, click on the title of the project or collection in ScholarWorks. Then you will see a description of the interview, and can download the audio and / or transcript.
There are a number of published oral history volumes at the Mansfield Library. While the topics vary and sound recordings typically don't accompany the volume, oral histories in print, which include excerpts or full transcripts of interviews, can help you access primary sources on a topic not covered by oral history interviews held at the Mansfield Library. You can find them in OneSearch by keyword searching your topic and the term "oral history". You can further limit your search to "Books (Print)" or "Books (Electronic)" in the Resource Type field. The example below was located in OneSearch by doing the following:
Portelli, A. (2004). The Order Has Been Carried Out. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Thinking of the right keywords when you're searching can help you locate materials more easily. If you're having difficulty finding good information, or any information, it may be because you aren't using the right keywords. Before searching for oral history interviews in the library catalog or on ScholarWorks brainstorm a variety of keywords for your topic. This is easier if you write down your thesis statement and locate the major terms in it. Then brainstorm as many ways as you can to say those terms. For example, if your topic is on homesteading in Montana, you might consider the following keywords: homesteading or homesteaders; poineers; settlers; early settlement; ranchers or ranch life; farmers or farm life.
More Keyword Tips