The University of Wisconsin-Madison Oral History Project was established as part of the University History Project in 1971. Its initial charge was to interview prominent emeritus faculty members about their research and careers at the University. Over the years, the Project became a part of the UW Madison Archives, changed from a project to a program, and expanded its scope to include interviews with campus administrators, staff, and students as well as faculty. Taken individually, these interviews reflect the careers and interests of the interviewees; taken collectively they constitute a narrative of the development of the University over time. As such, they form an invaluable part of the historical record of the University in its over 160 years of existence. The Oral History Program’s collection–held at the UW Madison Archives–currently encompasses over 1,000 interviews (nearly 3,500 hours) touching on all aspects of the University’s history.

Oral history interviews are protected by the 1978 copyright law. Both interviewer and narrator must sign a release before the interview may be used by anyone. Legal releases obtained by interviewers for this collection stipulate that the information in the interviews may be used for scholarly and educational purposes, but extensive segments of the interviews may not be published or used in a public presentation without the written permission of the UW-Madison Oral History Program. When quoting from an interview, the following bibliographic form is recommended: Miller, Elizabeth and James. Interviewed by Laura Smail. Tape recording, 1985. University Archives and Records Management Services, Madison, Wisconsin.

Interview Topics

UW-Madison Teaching Assistants Association Strike – 1970
Campus Voices is a project meant to capture, present, and preserve some of the strongest historical stories and memories of UW-Madison, through the people who lived them. The project’s first album focuses on the 1970 Teaching Assistants Association strike, in commemoration of its 40th anniversary.

Sterling Hall Bombing
The second collection in the UW-Madison Campus Voices series commemorates the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Sterling Hall, which took place on August 24, 1970. The collection consists of excerpts from interviews with UW-Madison faculty, students, staff, and Madison community members who recounted their experiences of the bombing and its effects.

Badger Village
The third collection in the UW-Madison Campus Voices series is focused on Badger Village, a housing community for married student veterans and their families located at the Badger Ordnance Works site in Baraboo, Wisconsin from 1946 to 1951. The collection consists of excerpts from interviews with UW residence staff, administration, and student veterans and their wives who lived at Badger Village.

Women in Science and Engineering at UW-Madison
This series relates the experiences of women who have worked in science, engineering, medicine and mathematics at the University of Wisconsin from the 1920s to the present day.