Throwback Thursday …OHA in 1980

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 1980…

Paint 1980

L-R Martha Ross, James W. Hammack, Jr., Collum Davis, Enid H. Douglass, Alferdteen Harrison, Elizabeth B. Mason, John Neuenschwander, Ronald E. Marcello

President: Enid H. Douglass, Claremont Graduate School
Site of the Annual Colloquium: Tamarron, north of Durango, Colorado
Newsletter: Tom Charlton, editor; L. Katherine Cook, Adelaide S. Darling, Rebecca S. Jiménez, Margaret L. S. Miller, and David B. Stricklin, associate editors
Editorial office: Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Annual individual membership: $15

Highlights of the year from the Oral History Association newsletter:

  • The most comprehensive directory of oral history projects, programs, and collections was in the planning stages in 1980. The new finding aid, endorsed by the OHA Council, was a partnership between OHA, Microfilming Corporation of America, and the American Library Association. More than 4,000 projects worldwide were anticipated to be included.
  • The archives of the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest reported that they had been experimenting with “the use of word processing equipment in preparing oral history transcripts.” The archives stated that “Retyping following editing was reduced to a minimal level, as one of the advantages of this equipment is that a document be typed (or keyboarded) only once…”
  • Louis Starr, “cofounder of the Oral History Association and its first president (1967-1968), died of heart failure March 2 in Louisville, Kentucky. He was a professor of journalism and director of the Oral History Research Office at Columbia University for twenty-four years.” Starr was described by members as “more than our comrade in arms, he was our champion. Indefatigable in support of oral history and the Oral History Association, he more than any other single person provided unstinting support to a succession of presidents and program chairpersons…”
  • The International Journal of Oral History, Vol. 1, No. 1, edited by Ronald J. Grele with John J. Walsh as managing editor, was hot off the press in February, 1980.

Who we were interviewing in 1980...

  • Gerald R. Ford Library — life and experiences of the recent President
  • Mississippi Dept of Archives and History — residents of Greenville, an “amalgamation of blacks, whites, Chinese, Lebanese, Italians, and Mexicans. Topics researched in the two and one-half years included the Ku Klux Klan, black exodus from plantations, bootlegging, prostitution along the river, and treatment of blacks during the 1927 flood.”
  • Union County, Pennsylvania Oral Traditions Project — blacksmiths on creating wrought iron

Check back next week for 1981…


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