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Oregon Multicultural Archives: Oral History Collections

Oral Histories


The Oregon Multicultural Archives Oral History Collection is a growing repository of interviews that documents the experiences and perspectives of people of color who have spent at least portions of their lives in Oregon.

This collection includes the OSU Multiracial Beavers Oral History Project, 2016-2017, a project intended to capture the origin stories of the Oregon State University Multiracial Beavers initiative and share the experiences of Multiracial individuals at OSU.  


Asian Family Center Oral History Collection, 2014-2016


Asian Family Center


The Asian Family Center Oral History Collection consists of interviews conducted with board and staff members of the Asian Family Center (AFC), one of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization's five primary locations in Portland, Oregon. The Asian Family Center exists to serve the needs of the Portland area's growing Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Documented within the collection are descriptions of the interviewees' job duties and responsibilities; their thoughts on the value and future of the center; AFC history, programs, and services; and the interviewees' personal stories regarding their immigration to the United States.

Asian Family Center

Asian Family Center
IRCO Asian Family Center Records

  • Access the oral history interviews here.
  • Access the collection finding aid here.
  • Access the IRCO Asian Family Center Website here.

Oregon State University Cultural Centers Oral History Collection, 2013-2015

Oregon State University Cultural Centers


The Oregon State University Cultural Centers Oral History Collection consists of interviews conducted with undergraduate and graduate student staff members of three OSU cultural centers - the Native American Longhouse, the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center and the Women's Center - as well as an administrator who oversees all of the university's cultural centers. Documented within the collection are interviewees' thoughts on working in the centers, the purpose and future direction of the organizations, and negotiating life as a student of color at OSU.


 

  • Access the collection finding aid here.
  • Access the Cultural Centers website here.

Milagro (Miracle Theatre Group) Oral History Collection, 2015

Milagro (Miracle Theatre Group)


The Milagro (Miracle Theatre Group) Oral History Collection consists of interviews conducted with theatre members past and present who have worked with Milagro in different capacities. Milagro provides a theater experience which emphasizes Latino theatre, culture, and arts education. Documented within the collection are interviews from members of Milagro, their experiences, how the company has changed them, and what they feel is the "miracle" of Milagro.

Set decorations from a Miracle Theatre Group production.
Set decorations from a Miracle Theatre Group production.
Milagro
Theatre

  • Access the collection finding aid here.
  • Access Milagro's website here.

About OMA's Oral History Collections

The Oregon Multicultural Archives Oral History Collection seeks to document the stories of ethnic minorities who have spent at least portions of their lives in the state of Oregon.

Of particular note is a three-part series of interviews conducted with Dr. Jean Moule, an instructor at Oregon State University who has written and taught extensively on the subject of multicultural issues in education.

Most interviews have been recorded directly to digital audio and saved as .wav files, with .mp3 files created for researcher access. The St. Philip the Deacon Episcopal Church/Urban League of Portland group interview, recorded in May 2013, was captured to both digital video and digital audio.

All interviews have been transcribed or are in the process of being transcribed. Materials assembled in the process of developing interview topics and permissions forms signed by interview subjects are also held on site.

Access all of OMA's Oral History Collection and interviews here.

African American Railroad Porters Collection, 1983-1992


Oregon African American Railroad Porters


This collection is made up of twenty-nine reel-to-reel sound recordings containing interviews between film maker Michael Grice and African-American railroad porters employed in the Portland area. These recordings form much of the background research used for Grice's 1985 film, "Black Families and the Railroad in Oregon and the Northwest." A VHS copy of the film is included in the collection. The collection's website inlcudes digital versions of the interviews along with interview transcriptions.

Undated image of railroad porters in Portland, Oregon.
Undated image of railroad porters in Portland, Oregon.
Oregon Historical Society/Oregon Black Pioneers

Access the collection finding aid here.

Basques of Harney County, Oregon, Oral History Collection, 1976-2001


Basques of Harney County, Oregon


The Basques of Harney County, Oregon Oral History Collection consists of transcripts and audiotapes of 15 oral history interviews conducted in 1976 and 1979 as part of an inventory of historic sites in Harney County. Basque sheepherders immigrated to southeastern Oregon from the 1890s through the 1920s and worked as itinerant herders on the mountain ranges of Harney County until the 1930s.

Lambs in pasture, 1950s.
Lambs in pasture, 1950s.
Wanda Giffords Photographs

Access the collection finding aid here.

Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon, Oral History Collection, 1994-2008

Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon


The Japanese-American Association of Lane County, Oregon, Oral History Collection consists of digital recordings of oral history interviews of Japanese Americans living in Eugene, Lane County, Oregon, and the vicinity. These oral histories document the immigrant experiences of the interviewees' parents and grandparents; the World War II experiences of the interviewees in internment camps; and their lives in Eugene and neighboring communities in the years following the war.

A Japanese family with their luggage, preparing to board an evacuation train, Hood River, Oregon, 1942.
A Japanese family with their luggage, preparing to board an evacuation train. Hood River, Oregon, 1942.
Extension Bulletin Illustrations Photograph Collection

Access the collection finding aid here.

Oregon Native American Language Sound Recordings, 1962-1988

Oregon Native American Language Sound Recordings


The Oregon Native American Language Sound Recordings were made by Joe E. Pierce during his study of Native American languages in Oregon and include interviews with members of the Coquille and Siletz tribes.

Young Native American woman sitting on a fence rail, Pendleton, Oregon. Undated.
Young Native American woman sitting on a fence rail, Pendleton, Oregon. Undated.
Ralph I. Gifford Photograph Collection

Access the collection finding aid here.