The DVP Course: Learning Oral History in a Digital Age (HIST 10.03)

When the DVP was founded in 2014, training for student interviewers was provided via a summer term training program designed by the DVP leadership team.  In 2020, this training program was reorganized and expanded into a for-credit Dartmouth History course. Entitled The Dartmouth Vietnam Project: Learning Oral History in a Digital Age (HIST 10.03), this course was co-designed by Prof. Edward Miller and Dr. Bryan Winston to provide students with an in-depth introduction to the theory and practice of oral history.

Students in HIST 10.03 grappled with questions about narrative, subjectivity, memory, historical truth, and the ethics of oral history.  In addition, students received training in oral history interviewing techniques, as well as instruction in transcription and digital audio recording practices. During the term, each enrolled student conducted their first DVP interview with a member of the Dartmouth/Upper Valley community.

Students in HIST 10.03 did not take a final exam.  Instead, each of them was required to design and build an online digital exhibit.  In preparation for this assignment, the students were trained in the use of Omeka-S, a content management system widely used in digital humanities projects.  In addition to providing access to the audio and transcript of the student's oral history interview, each exhibit also provided context and interpretive perspective by connecting the interview to other historical evidence collected from other sources and collections (including other oral history archives).

For examples of digital exhibits designed by students in the Winter 2020 and Fall 2020 editions of HIST 10.03, click on the links below.

Student exhibits: Fall 2020

"We Build, We Fight": Navy Seabees and Civic Action in the Vietnam War  by Sarah Sim '21

“Thats How We Survived”: Resilience, Community, and Intolerance in the Lives of LGBTQ Servicewomen during the Vietnam War era  by Charlotte Driscoll '21

"Half of my fraternity brothers were ROTC": The Military, Vietnam, and Dartmouth in the 1960s   by J.P. Mortenson '21

Narrative Style and the Use of Oral Testimony in "The Vietnam War"  by David Velona '21