Vol 36 (2016)
Articles (Peer Reviewed)

An Examination of Oral History and Archival Practices among Graduate Students in Select Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities

Holly Hendrigan
Simon Fraser University
Published April 1, 2016


Preserving oral history interviews is an important aspect of oral history practice. This article examines a sample of theses published by Canadian graduate students and asks two questions: first, how many researchers who conducted oral histories archived their interviews; second, how many researchers consulted oral history interviews as a secondary data source? Thirty-six theses from five universities were examined. 81% of the theses applied oral history as a methodology; 41% examined oral history interviews previously recorded; 22% conducted original interviews in addition to consulting previously recorded interviews. The archival rate of original interviews was 28%. Possible reasons for the low archival rate are discussed. Recent Tri-Agency funding agencies requiring Canadian scholars to adhere to new open access policies could result in higher preservation rates of oral history interviews.