Throwback Thursday highlights 1972…

Follow our weekly series, Throwback Thursday, designed to help celebrate 50 years of OHA. We’ll profile a year in the life of the organization each week with photos, logos, and highlights taken from the Oral History Association Newsletter. We welcome your memories, photos, and comments at

OHA in 1972…

President: Charles Morrisey
Site of the Annual Colloquium: Austin, Texas
Newsletter: James Mink Editor; Bernard Galm, Associate Editor
Editorial office located at University of California, Los Angeles
Annual individual membership: $7.50

Highlights of the year from OHA Newsletters

  • Officers reflected on five years of official existence of the OHA–membership has increased more than sixfold, and the Oral History Association newsletter has contributed significantly to a “better understanding of oral history in the academic community and among the public in general.” The newsletter editor goes on to remark on the “relaxed atmosphere, informality, and good fellowship” found at the annual colloquiums. OHA has created a forum “where without trepidation the most inexperienced neophyte can freely discuss problems with the most distinguished scholar.” This is the “difference between OHA and most scholarly organizations most noted by our newcomers, and ‘viva la difference!'”
  • The Forest History Society marked their 25th anniversary which a special issue of their quarterly journal devoted to oral history. In an article that described their 25th anniversary, they said “No significant theory should be based on a single piece of evidence regardless of its character, but oral history revelations of previously unknown information often stimulate further research.”
  • Fisk University received a $86,000 grant from the NEH to strengthen and support its Black Oral History Program. Fisk was “the first major black university to mount a full-scale oral history effort to supplement existing primary and secondary sources…and its experience should serve as a model for future black oral history projects.”
  • The Kennedy Library began adding interviews on the career of Robert Kennedy to their collection, building on the experience of and lessons learned from the JFK project.
  • The University of Kentucky received a $20,000 grant to start a pilot project in oral history connected with manuscript collections in the University Library.

Who were we interviewing in 1972?

  • Baylor University — religion and cultures that impacted Texas, beginning with a focus on Baptists.
  • The Imperial War Museum in London — former members of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Service discussing early military aviation.
  • Regional Oral History Office at Berkeley — conservationist Newton Bishop Drury, former director of the National Park Service and head of the Save-the-Redwoods League
  • Yale School of Music — composers and others important in twentieth-century American music


The LBJ Library, opened in 1971 in Austin, Texas. Attendees of the 1972 Colloquium visited the library as part of meeting activities.

Check back next week for news of 1973…

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