Oral History Program

The Oral History Program’s collection–held at the UW Madison Archives–currently encompasses over 2,100 interviews (over 5,000 hours) touching on all aspects of the University’s history.

A significant portion of the total collection were conducted as a part of special series covering subjects such as the Teaching Assistants Strike of 1970, the UW System Merger, the Arboretum, and printmaking at UW since World War II. Other significant historical themes run through many of the interviews, including the Depression, the return of the GIs after World War II, the protests against the Vietnam War, academic freedom, and gender and race issues.

Most of the interviews were conducted by campus oral historians Stephen Lowe (1971), Donna Taylor Hartshorne (1972-82), Laura Smail (1976-88), Barry Teicher (1989-2005), Sandy Pfahler (2005-2008), Robert Lange (2005-2010) and Troy Reeves (2007-).

The Oral History Program provides a number of educational trainings and workshops related to oral history best practices and beyond. The Program developed an online tutorial to help you get started in learning more about oral history. If you have questions or need additional information, contact Troy Reeves (Distinguished Oral Historian).

Taking notes on Moby Dick, #S14843
Iranian student practices chemistry #S06807
UW Band percussionist and tuba player, 1950s. #S06271
UW Band members, 1950s, #S06271
Relaxing by Lake Mendota, Image #S14106
Cheerleaders at Camp Randall, Image #15226