Skip to Main Content

Immigration: The Changing Face of America: Oral History collections

Oral History Projects

A few of the available online collections include:

Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Oral Histories 
Since 1973, the Ellis Island Oral History project has been dedicated to preserving the first-hand recollections of immigrants who passed through the Ellis Island immigration station between 1892 and 1954 and the employees who worked there.

Bracero Oral History Project. The project presents the oral histories and artifacts pertaining to the Bracero program, a U.S. guest worker initiative that spanned the years 1942-1964.

New York City Immigrant Labor Oral History Project (NYU Tamiment library)
Documents the lives of immigrants and migrants who settled in New York, New York between 1900 and 1930, their family relationships, social lives and work patterns. 

Digitized Immigrant Letters. The site contains letters written in languages other than English exchanged by international migrants and their loved ones in the years between 1850 and 1970 and provides access to and interpretation of the letters for a diverse audience of scholars, teachers and students, and the general public.

In the First Person. This is a free, high quality, professionally published, in-depth index of close to 4,000 collections of personal narratives in English from around the world.

Italian-American Immigrant Oral History Catalog - This is a catalog of interviews collected through a project dealing with Italian immigration into Upper Michigan.

Mexican Migration Project - Oral Histories. The MMP has an online collection of oral histories from thirteen Mexican migrant laborer's who came to the United States, There is also a gallery of paintings about the migrant experience.

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories. Includes 2,162 authors and approximately 100,000 pages of information providing a unique and personal view of what it meant to immigrate to America and Canada between 1800 and 1950.

Immigrant Voices

Oral histories produced by UM students from the Center for Global Migration, the oral history project collects the stories of the experience of migration.

"The University of Washington Libraries greatly recognizes the importance of oral histories as an important primary source for historical narratives. This recognition has led to the South Asian Oral History Project (SAOHP) at the University of Washington Libraries. The SAOHP represents one of the first attempts in the U.S. to record pan-South Asian immigrant experiences in the Pacific Northwest using the medium of oral history."

"The University of Washington Special Collections began collecting oral histories in the 1960s as part of an effort to document the history and culture of our regional ethnic communities. Forging partnerships with local organizations, oral historians recorded interviews with members of the Scandinavian American, African American, Japanese American, and Jewish communities in Seattle and Washington State. Later, this effort broadened to document the Northwest arts community and spawned new projects such as the North Cascades History Project. Today, these oral histories represent the bulk of an ever-growing collection and stand as a rich resource for researchers from a variety of fields."

Related image