Oral History Projects

While individual oral histories can contribute to specific research goals and agendas, the strength of an oral-history collection relies on the ability of individual oral histories to ‘speak’ to each other. Scientists, though often credited individually for a discovery, are rarely lone researchers working in isolation from other scientists. The knowledge that is produced in a scientific lab receives contributions not only from the members of the lab, but also from the interactions that these lab members have with other women and men outside of their laboratory and from the scientific community more generally.

Given this understanding, our program pursues the collection of oral histories with a mind to prosopographic research, that is, as investigations into the common characteristics of historical groups whose individuality can only be understood within the collective identity of the group. Learning about patterns of relationships and activities through the study of collective histories reveals much more about the scientific process and its products than any one oral history could do on its own.

Below is a list of projects that the Center for Oral History has pursued or is pursuing. Following each project or collection name  is a link to the oral histories that fall into that category.

Catalyst Series: Women in Chemistry

Women in Chemistry

Follow the adventures of eight leading women in chemistry and celebrate their life-changing, chance-taking, thrill-seeking love of science. 

Brown Bag Lecture Series

Enjoy a bring-your-own brown-bag lunch while listening to CHF scholars share their research.

Sensing Change

See your environment with fresh eyes through this online exhibit.