Article provided by National Library Board

What does the National Archives’ Oral History Centre do?

Since 1979, the Oral History Centre has collected 23,000 hours’ worth of interviews with 4,100 interviewees in more than 30 projects.
Since 1979, the Oral History Centre has collected 23,000 hours’ worth of interviews with 4,100 interviewees in more than 30 projects.PHOTO: COURTESY OF ORAL HISTORY CENTRE, NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF SINGAPORE

At the Oral History Centre, Singapore’s stories are kept alive through oral history recordings - interviews with people about their personal recollections.

Since 1979, the Centre has collected 23,000 hours’ worth of interviews with 4,100 interviewees in more than 30 projects. These span a wide range of topics, capturing the broad sweep of Singapore’s history from politics and the civil service to vanishing trades, the performing arts, broadcasting and medical services.

Besides collecting memories, the Oral History Centre documents them and makes them available to the public. More than 17,000 hours’ of interviews are currently available online, and a quarter of the total collection has accompanying text transcripts. Members of the public can also listen to oral history recordings at the Archives Reading Room in the National Archives’ building at 1 Canning Rise.

To help the Centre to continue preserving and sharing memories with future generations, you can help out as a volunteer to transcribe oral history interviews, as part of the National Archives’ Citizen Archivist Project.

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