Historical Associations

For researchers, students, and those with a general interest in oral history, the the Science History Institute's Center for Oral History staff has created a list of relevant historical associations. 

Oral History Association
OHA was established in 1966. It seeks to bring together people interested in oral history as a way of collecting and interpreting human memories to foster knowledge and human dignity. OHA has an international membership and serves a broad and diverse audience. It provides professional guidance and a collegial environment for local historians, librarians and archivists, students, journalists, teachers, and academic scholars from many fields.

Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic Region
OHMAR is the place to start for those interested in putting together an oral history project, honing interviewing methods, communicating with professional interviewers, or learning the technical skills needed to present and preserve oral history sessions. This regional association brings together experts and neophytes from among the ranks of archivists, historians, journalists, librarians, political scientists, sociologists, and others involved with the process of oral history.

International Oral History Association
IOHA provides a forum for oral historians around the world and a means for cooperation among those concerned with the documentation and interpretation of human experience. IOHA stimulates research that uses the techniques of oral history and promotes the development of standards and principles for the collection and preservation of oral histories. It seeks to foster a better understanding of the democratic nature and value of oral history worldwide.

Oral History in the Digital Age
Oral history is in a profound transition, from an extensive period when sophisticated technology meant using tape cassettes, to a time when the field has moved into the digital, networked, multimedia-rich age. The transition into a digital world, and the flexibility it brings, has changed the costs of doing oral history, standards of practice and scholarship, and the vehicles for access. With this in mind, the Oral History in the Digital Age was created,  a product of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership project and a collaboration among universities, folklife centers, governmental entities, and professional organizations. The site includes information on best practices, resources, discussions, links, and essays.

History of Science Society
HSS is the world’s largest society dedicated to understanding science, technology, medicine, and their interactions with society in a historical context. Over 3,000 individual and institutional members around the world support the society’s mission to foster interest in the history of science and its social and cultural relations.

Society for the History of Technology
SHOT, an interdisciplinary organization, is concerned not only with the history of technological devices and processes but also with technology in history—that is, the relationship of technology to politics, economics, science, the arts, and the organization of production, and with the role it plays in the differentiation of individuals in society. It is also concerned with interpretive flexibility, the conception that beliefs about whether a technology “works” are contingent on the expectations, needs, and ideologies of those who interact with it.

Society for the Social History of Medicine
Since its inaugural meeting in 1970, SSHM has pioneered interdisciplinary approaches to the history of health, welfare, medical science, and practice. Its membership consists of those interested in a variety of disciplines, including history, public health, demography, anthropology, sociology, social administration, and health economics.

Society for Social Studies of Science
4S exists to facilitate communication across conventional boundaries that separate the disciplines and across national boundaries that separate scholars. The society includes scholars in sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, political science, economics, and psychology; areas of study that fall outside of the traditional academic disciplines, such as feminist studies and cultural studies, as well as those addressing science and technology for the public; studies of knowledge, policy, R&D, and the development and use of specific technologies; working scientists and engineers interested in the social aspects of their fields; and members of the public who have an interest in the way that science and technology affect their lives.