The Oral History Collection:
Personal Life Stories and Topical Discussions
Life Stories. The oral history collection is not restricted by topic or any other defining quality. Rainbow History's goal is to assemble a large and diverse collection of personal accounts of what it has meant to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or queer in the metropolitan Washington.
The oral life stories are collected without direction by the documentor of the story. The narrator of the life story has complete control as to the direction, detail, and intimacy of the stories she or he tells. The documentor assists the narrator with the flow of the story and may, if it seems pertinent, ask the narrator to further elaborate on areas of the story. In all cases, the narrator has the last word on whether she or he wishes to elaborate. The documentor does not otherwise guide or direct the narration and makes no judgments as to content, structure, or relevance.
The list below shows most of the oral histories collected by the Rainbow History Project. This is an ongoing project so newer oral histories might not yet be listed. If you would like your memories to be added to the collection, pls call 202.907.9007 or email us at email@example.com . Once a tape is added to the collection, it is copied. Narrators are invited to take a copy of the tape. In time, all tapes will be transcribed as well. Whenever possible, the narrator is invited to review the transcript and to keep a copy.
The Rainbow History Project has no plans at this time to publish or otherwise distribute the oral histories. Narrators are invited to restrict access and distribution of their oral history at a level with which they are comfortable. Where permission is available from the narrators of the oral history, transcripts or portions of the transcripts may be made available on this website.
Personal life story tapes are available to listeners by contacting the Rainbow History Project. No tape or transcript is released without the permission of the narrator. In the case of deceased narrators, Rainbow History will work within the framework of the narrator's restrictions in determining whether to release the tape or transcript.
If you are interested in hearing an oral life history tape, pls contact us at our phone number or the email address above.
Topical Discussions.Rainbow History routinely records its public topical discussions of metropolitan Washington, DC GLBTQ history. As public events, the tapes of these discussions are considered unrestricted and are made available somewhat more freely than personal life stories. Because these discussions are topically focused and often have a moderator, they are much more guided than the life stories. A list of topical discussions for which we have tapes is at www.rainbowhistory.org/eventtapes.htm.
We always need volunteers to transcribe and index the oral history tapes!
Oral histories in the Rainbow History collection