New Grant for Oral History Interviews

As of June 1, 2011, the Niels Bohr Library & Archives (NBL&A) has begun work on a new grant funded project involving our collection of over 1500 oral histories with renowned physicists. This new grant, provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), will allow us to continue our work in placing our oral history interview transcripts online. Over the next two years we will place an additional 500 transcripts online, make all the transcripts full-text and cross searchable, select and transcribe 50 interviews that have yet to be transcribed, and add a selection of interesting audio clips from some of the transcripts.

The previous NEH funded grant, which was completed in December 2009, allowed NBL&A to place 525 transcripts online which are browseable by the interview subject’s name. This new grant will add not only more transcripts to our online collection, but will allow researchers to search them in a variety of new ways.

These grants have made it possible for these interviews to become more accessible and widely used. Before we began placing our interviews online, we received on average 185 requests a year from scholars, but in 2010 the oral history web pages received over 37,000 visits. This allows our interviews to reach a whole new audience of students, teachers, journalists, and the general public, who get to discover the history of the physical sciences from the people who were there.

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