Authentic Doing

Authentic Doing: Student-Produced
Web-Based Digital Video Oral Histories

by Howard Levin


This paper describes a case study oral history project involving high school students who interview elders and publish in full text and full digital video on a public Web site, Telling Their Stories: Oral History Archives Project (OHAP) is a combination of a high school elective history course at The Urban School of San Francisco, a digital video oral history production protocol, a public Web site, and a growing collaboration with other educational institutions from around the country. Students learn oral history technique, conduct two-hour long video-recorded interviews, complete the transcription, edit movies, and publish to the OHAP Web site. Most OHAP interviews deal with witnesses of key twentieth century events involving acts of discrimination, including survivors, witnesses and liberators of the Nazi Holocaust, Japanese American internees, and elders involved in the southern Civil Rights Movement. The paper also examines the preparation and efficacy of student-conducted oral histories via the OHAP model.

Essay link provided by the Oral History Review Volume 38 Issue 1 Winter-Spring 2011, Oxford University Press (

Citation for Article


Levin, H. (2012). Authentic doing: student-produced web-based digital video oral histories. In D. Boyd, S. Cohen, B. Rakerd, & D. Rehberger (Eds.), Oral history in the digital age. Institute of Library and Museum Services. Retrieved from


Levin, Howard. “Authentic Doing: Student-Produced Web-Based Digital Video Oral Histories,” in Oral History in the Digital Age, edited by Doug Boyd, Steve Cohen, Brad Rakerd, and Dean Rehberger. Washington, D.C.: Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2012,

This is a production of the Oral History in the Digital Age Project ( sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  Please consult for information on rights, licensing, and citation.

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