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You can listen to audio and read transcripts from the SOHP’s archive of 6,000 interviews. Below is a quick tutorial to show you a few ways we like to navigate the database (there are many ways to navigate).

Visit the SOHP’s website.

Select the Digital Archives tab.

Then click on Select the Interview Database.


This is the gateway to our digital database.

When you get to this point, select Interview Database. 

From this point, there are many different ways to search for interviews.

A good way to get started is to select Project within the Browse By box on the lower right.

This will take you to a full list of SOHP projects.

From there, you can read descriptions of each project by selecting [Show/hide abstract]

Each project has an “abstract” or a description, which provides a summary of the project.

To find the list of interviews in each project, select Project Title.

This will take you to a list of all of the interviews in the project.

To find out more about an interview, select Interview number.

This takes you to the oral history interview. Once you’re here you can do many things.

You can scroll down to read the Object Description, which describes each interview and provides background information like subjects discussed, geographical references, keywords, narrator & interviewer information.

The Object Description includes an abstract, or description of what the interview contains.

You can also find the transcript of the interview (some interviews don’t have one).

You can read it online or you can download the file.

You can listen to the the interview, and download the audio (some interviews don’t have audio).


There are other ways to look for interviews, like using the Search box, at the top left corner of the home page.

We’ll try a search for “Chapel Hill.”

The results show every interview mentioning Chapel Hill. There are 6,328 interviews.

From this point, you can select each interview number to look through the object description and transcript to see where Chapel Hill is referenced, and how. You can narrow your results by selecting Advanced Search.


The database will limit how it looks for Chapel Hill.

If you select The exact phrase, it hones in on the term or subject. You can also choose Any of the words or All of the words.

You can select a specific field to search for a keyword.

We’ll select Abstract since it’s a good overview of the full interview.

We end up with a shorter list (534 interviews).

One other good place to start is the SOHP’s SoundCloud page. It serves as a listening primer.

Here you can listen to playlists of excerpted clips.

As you listen you can also find the link to the full interview to explore the SOHP archive.