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Oral History Program: Oral History Interview Collections

Featured Interview

Interview with Julia Parsons

This Carnegie Mellon University oral history features Julia Parsons, who graduated from Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT) in 1942. Parsons is a graduate of Margaret Morrison Carnegie College where she received her degree in general studies with a minor in library science. She later returned to CIT to earn her teaching certificate. After graduating in 1942, Parsons volunteered for the Navy as part of the women’s reserve, better known as WAVES or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services. She was trained at Smith College in Massachusetts where she was recruited for Naval intelligence communications. She was stationed in Washington DC and served as part of a team tasked with breaking messages encoded by German submarine forces using the Enigma machines. In the interview, Parsons talks about her experiences growing up in Pittsburgh, her education at Carnegie Institute of Technology, and her experiences during World War II. She discusses topics such as childhood, women’s education, codebreaking, and family life.

Carnegie Mellon University Oral History Collection

The Oral History Collection contains interviews with faculty, alumni and staff of Carnegie Mellon University. These are retrospective life-history style interviews that provide insight into individual experiences and perceptions. Participants talk about their experiences at Carnegie Mellon University as well as variety of topics such as childhood, education, family life, research, and career.

Remembering Africanamerican Pittsburgh (RAP) Oral History Project

This collection was created and is maintained by the Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) in  the Department of History at Carnegie Mellon University. Started in 2006, "the aim is to preserve the spoken memories of Pittsburgh’s African American citizens so that the wisdom of their life experiences can resonate for future generations of scholars and citizens."

Pamela McCorduck Collection

This collection contains interview recordings created by Pamela McCorduck in the 1970s as research for her book Machines Who Think: A Personal Inquiry into the History and Prospects of Artificial Intelligence. The interviews were conducted as part of an oral history project on artificial intelligence. The collection also includes transcripts, correspondence, and other research materials.

Collections From Other Universities and Organizations

Countless collections of oral history interviews are available through organizations across the globe. If you are interested in a specific topic, get in touch, and we'll see if we can help you identify a collection.

Here are a few examples: