May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and in honor of it, we've compiled a list of oral history projects that focus on AAPI communities. These projects document the experiences of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II, Filipino Americans and their experiences in the United States, Chinese Americans in the New York metropolitan area, Native Hawaiians, Korean Americans, and more.
These projects increase awareness of the diverse experiences of AAPI communities and promote the importance of documenting and preserving these stories for future generations. They also serve as a rich resource for studying AAPI history, as well as simply an inspiring archive of human stories.
This rich collection of oral history recordings, transcriptions, photographs, ephemera, and more is a digitized selection of the New York museum’s large collection of public history materials. Grouped by themes, including migration, identity, the arts, family history, and more, this well-curated collection offers a diverse view of the history of Chinese Americans.
The Filipino American National Historical Society has an ongoing oral history project that collects the stories of Filipino Americans and their experiences in the United States. While recordings are not available yet online, many other public history resources, including selected public history materials, can be accessed remotely.
Densho is a digital archive that preserves and shares the stories of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II. They have a collection of over 2,000 video interviews with Japanese American survivors, many of whom were children at the time of their incarceration.
The Manzanar National Historic Site is a former Japanese American internment camp that now serves as a memorial to those who were incarcerated there. Their website includes a collection of oral histories from former internees, as well as interviews with their descendants. Video recordings are housed on the site’s YouTube channel.
This center focuses on the oral history of indigenous Hawaians and multi-ethnic Hawai’i residents includes recordings, podcasts, books, and videos of oral histories. For local residents, the center also offers trainings and resources to do their own oral history projects.
The Korean American Oral History Project at the University of Southern California documents the experiences of Korean Americans in the United States. Their collection includes interviews with Korean Americans from different periods in history, photographs, documents, and more archival resources.
The Japanese American Museum of San Jose has an ongoing oral history project that collects the stories of Japanese Americans in the Santa Clara Valley. Their collection includes transcribed interviews with Japanese Americans from a variety of backgrounds.
This newly-launched project aims to collect the stories of AAPI residents of Las Vegas and the surrounding area. Nominations are now open for interviewees to participate in the project by being interviewed for their personal stories.
These are just a few examples of the many oral history projects focused on Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. If you would like to remind us of any that we may have missed, please let us know. Reach out to Christina@Memria.org with a link and note about an archive, oral history project, or other storysharing resource that you think should be featured in an upcoming post.