Oral Histories: How to Research : Oral History Collections at Western

Resources available through Western Libraries and its Heritage Resources programs.

Western Libraries Special Collections

Contact Special Collections to find out more about oral history collections, including:


Oral histories may be recorded and stored using a wide variety of media and formats, including magnetic reel-to-reel tape, audio or mini-audio cassette, mini-discs, CD, DVD, mp3 and WAV files. In some cases, Heritage Resources staff may have to make special arrangements for equipment to access audio/audio-visual recordings.  

Center for Pacific Northwest Studies

A substantial number of CPNWS collections contain oral histories, interviews and/or audio recordings. In addition to the suggested collections listed below, contact us, or try searching the CPNWS website for "interviews," "audio" recordings or other keywords relating to your research interests. 

Also, search: 

The Library catalog for Oral History and Whatcom County;
 Northwest Digital Archives 
A Guide to the Collection of Oral History Interviews on Whatcom County (Wash.) and Regional History, focusing on resources available through the Heritage Resources programs or online; and Northwest Digital Archives  for Oral Histories Statewide 

Heritage Resources


Western Libraries Heritage Resources provides for responsible stewardship of and access to unique and archival resources in support of teaching, learning and resarch at Western Washington University and beyond. The Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Special Collections, and University Archives and Records Management work together to document the culture and history of Western, the local community and Pacific Northwest region, and to promote public and scholarly access to holdings.