All cultures and subcultures have oral history traditions, readily traceable through lyric poetry, storytelling, jokes, riddles, literature, and faith activities, among many other forms of spoken expression. Within Latino and Hispanic societies and cultures, for example, researchers have gone to great lengths to seek, record, preserve, and share oral histories and other forms of public history, preserving them for posterity to be experienced and enjoyed in the present and future. The following are exemplary Hispanic oral history projects, either recent or ongoing.
The Yale Library Latinx Oral Histories
This archive makes available the oral works pertaining to the Bracero program. This was a guest worker initiative that ran between the years 1942 and 1964. Millions of agricultural workers crossed the border from Mexico to participate in the program as well as to work in states all across the US.
The University of Texas at Austin Voces Oral History Center
Run by a handful of students of Hispanic descent, the Vocas Oral History project has acquired hundreds of powerful examples of South American culture and history going back decades to the early 1800s and further. The project is dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing these stories.
New Roots: Voices from Carolina del Norte!
Voices from Carolina del Norte! is an online archive containing the oral histories of South American migrants who traveled to North Carolina. It includes the experiences of North Carolinians of European heritage, who worked to promote and facilitate the integration of South American settlers into the state.
Historical Society of Pennsylvania Hispanic Collections
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania maintains a rich collection of oral histories gathered from Hispanic and Latino immigrants in the Philadelphia area. The collection contains letters, diaries, photographs, financial records, correspondence; legal, civic, and organizational records, literature, art, and music.
Nuestras RaÃces, The Latino Oral History Project of Rhode Island
Nuestras RaÃces is a collection of the personal accounts of Latino pioneers in Rhode Island. This archive was created to help young people learn skills and knowledge to prepare them to be competent, responsible citizens. Much of the documentation records a rich history and culture that has emerged in communities across the state.
One of the newest Hispanic oral history archive projects, StoryCorps Historias is an ongoing effort to record the stories and experiences of Latino people in the US. These stories celebrate a history, honor a heritage, and capture the spirit of the community that produced them. It also helps preserve the voices of Latino people for generations to come.
Brooklyn Historical Society Hispanic Communities Documentation Project
More than fifty interviews were conducted by the Brooklyn Historical Society to document the stories of Brooklyn residents who came from Puerto Rico, Panama, and other Central and South American countries in the late twentieth century. The archive includes transcripts and audio recordings of the interviews which were created over two years beginning in 1988.
University of Miami Oral History Collection
This Oral History collection includes videos and transcripts of interviews conducted with first-generation Cubans who left Cuba after the Revolution. Initiated in 2008, the Project was launched by the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection as a community initiative to preserve the experiences of aging Cuban exiles.
Many of these oral history collections contain hundreds to thousands of verified authentic artifacts of Hispanic oral history. While none are complete on their own, a comprehensive study of Hispanic oral histories is available for anyone willing to examine multiple collections.