How do I use the SOHP archive?

You can listen to and download all 15 of the curated interviews from our website. Remember, entries must contain at least two of these voices in your final piece. To download audio from the curated interviews list,

If you’re aiming to use other interviews from the SOHP’s archive of 6,000 interviews, here are a few ways we like to navigate our interview database (and there are many ways to navigate).

Visit the SOHP’s website.
Select the Oral Histories tab.
Then click on Select the Interview Database. 



This is the gateway to our digital database.
When you get to this point, click the box that says Interview Database. 



Now you’ve arrived at our digital database!
From this point, there are a billion ways to search for interviews.



Let us tell you about a couple of our favorite ways.
One is to click the Project link on the lower right  Browse By box.


This will take you to a full list of SOHP projects.



From there, you can read descriptions of each project by clicking on [Show/hide abstract]


Each project has an “abstract” or a description, which provides a summary of the project.



To find the list of interviews in each project, click on the Project Title.
This will take you to a list of all of the interviews in the project.


To find out more about an interview, click on the Interview number.



This takes you to the interview. Once you’re here you can do many things.


You can scroll down the page to read the Object Description, which describes each interview and provides background information like subjects discussed, geographical references, keywords, narrator & interviewer information, etc.


The Object Description includes an abstract, or description of what the interview contains.


You can also find the transcript of the interview (sometimes there’s no transcript).
You can read it online or you can download the file.


You can listen to the the interview online, and you can download the audio file (sometimes there’s no audio).



If searching by project isn’t your thing, there are other ways to look for interviews, like using the Search box, at the top left corner of the home page.


Let’s search for Chapel Hill.



This basic search will scour all of the interviews for the term “Chapel Hill.”
Every interview that mentions Chapel Hill, regardless of  where it’s mentioned, like in the transcript, interview abstract, geographical reference, etc. will show up.
And in this case, there are a TON of results (6,328 interviews)!
From this point, you can click on each interview number to look through the object description and transcript to see where Chapel Hill is referenced, and how.
This might take you years.




In this case, we are going to narrow the search for Chapel Hill, by choosing Advanced Search.



When you click on Advanced Search, the database will limit how it looks for Chapel Hill.
If you select The exact phrase, it helps hone in on exactly the term you’re looking for, but you can also choose Any of the words or All of the words.



You can also narrow down what field to look for the keyword.


In the case of Chapel Hill, we’ll choose the Abstract, since it’s a good overview of the full interview.



By searching for Chapel Hill in Abstracts, we end up with a much shorter list (534 interviews to look through)!



One other good place to start is the SOHP’s SoundCloud page. It serves as a listening primer.
Here you can listen to playlists of excerpted clips.


As you listen to an excerpt, you can also find the link to the full interview to explore the SOHP archive.