UC Berkeley Library

Donating Oral Histories to the OHC

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The Oral History Center is committed to assisting oral historians preserve their own interviews so that the valuable voices of our narrators are not lost.

OHC staff are available by appointment to provide a brief description of archival best practices for oral history interviews.

The OHC also accepts nominations for individual interviews and oral history projects to be archived by The Bancroft Library and thus preserved for generations to come. The OHC accession policy for donated interviews is as follows:

  • OHC does not pay for interviews; all interviews must be donated outright to the university;
  • OHC accepts only digital recordings; analog recordings must be accompanied by funding to pay for digitization of the recordings;
  • Donated oral histories must be relevant to The Bancroft Library’s existing collections; see more about The Bancroft Library’s collections here: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/libraries/bancroft-library/collections
  • Donated interviews must be of sufficient audio and/or video quality to justify preservation;
  • Donated interviews must come with signed legal releases from all interviewees and all interviewers;
  • The donor is expected to assign copyright of all interviews to the Regents of the University of California so that the Regents can act as steward of the materials and thus ensure public access to the materials; in some cases, a “Creative Commons” license or declaration of public domain may be negotiated;
  • Donated interviews must come with meaningful metadata (name of interviewee, interviewer, dates, keywords, etc.) associated with each interview to allow for accurate cataloging.

Please direct any questions about this policy to OHC Director, Martin Meeker.