Listening to War: Uncovering Wisconsin’s Wartime Oral Histories

Listening to War: Uncovering Wisconsin’s Wartime Oral Histories was a yearlong project to identify oral history collections documenting the lives of Wisconsin veterans and civilians during wartime and develop a plan to digitize, preserve and provide access to this important content. This planning project was supported by a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Foundations grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Grant Products

Over the course of the grant, Digital Archives Assistant Dana Gerber-Margie visited more than two dozen cultural heritage organizations across Wisconsin to assess their oral history collections. Read about her experiences in this interview and in blog posts about her site visits.

Directory: Wisconsin’s Wartime Oral Histories
This directory describes oral history collections documenting the experiences of Wisconsin veterans and civilians during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War. This is not a comprehensive list, but offers a sample of the range of wartime oral history resources held in libraries, archives, historical societies, and museums across Wisconsin.

Guidelines and Recommendations for Oral History Projects
Interested in learning more about creating and preserving oral histories? Check out these tip sheets created by Dana Gerber-Margie and Advisory Committee members Ellen Brooks and Troy Reeves.
Part 1: Questions to Consider
Part 2: Best practices for collecting veterans’ oral histories
Part 3: Curated Resource List

Read the original grant narrative submitted to NEH.

Advisory Committee

  • Ellen Brooks, Oral Historian, Wisconsin Veterans Museum
  • Paul Hedges, Emerging Technologies Archivist at the Wisconsin Historical Society
  • Erika Janik, Independent author and producer, Wisconsin Public Radio/Wisconsin Public Television
  • Stephen Kercher, Chair and Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
  • Susan McLeod, director emeritus, Chippewa Valley Museum
  • Troy Reeves, Head, Oral History Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Dorothea Salo, Faculty Associate, iSchool at UW-Madison
  • Mark D. Van Ells, Professor of History, Queensborough Community College, City University of New York

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This project was made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.