Oral History Project Grant

Grants of up to $5,000 awarded twice annually.


The Oral History Office of the Hagley Library invites applications for oral history project support. The interviews generated by these projects will become part of the collection of the Hagley Library, which guarantees the permanent preservation of and access to oral histories associated with any funded project. Graduate students conducting research for their thesis or dissertation, and more advanced scholars for books or other scholarly projects may apply for this grant. Our objective is to expand our oral history collections on business and its relationship to society by supporting serious research that uses oral history as a principal source, and to encourage use of oral interviews more generally. To achieve that goal Hagley seeks to collaborate with oral history practitioners and build a robust archive for the preservation of current projects and as a foundation for future projects and the larger business history community.

Project grant funds may be used to reimburse costs associated with travel to interviewees, including for mileage, trains, air fare, food, and lodging. Funds may also be for equipment purchases but not stipends. Reimbursement of costs will take place promptly after submission of the interview sound file, metadata, release forms, and receipts. Archiving and indexing oral history interviews is a free service provided by Hagley to grant recipients. 

Interviews must be conducted in English and in accordance with the standards of the Oral History Association (https://www.oralhistory.org/archives-principles-and-best-practices-overv...) and the Hagley Library’s own technical requirements (available upon request). Oral history projects must fit within Hagley’s collecting scope; broadly the interconnected histories of American business, technology, and society. We especially seek oral histories representing the roles of women, African Americans and other ethnic minorities, and the roles that these groups have played in American business and technology. The Library seeks to document accounts of innovation as well as maintenance; change as well as continuity; success as well as failure; and institutional as well as personal experiences.

Grant recipients must use Hagley’s release form and ensure that any restrictions will permit public access to the interviews within a reasonable timeframe, specific terms to be negotiated. In consultation with the interviewer, Hagley will transcribe interviews and make the transcribed interviews available to the interviewer and as part of our public archive.

Deadlines: June 1 and December 1

To apply, go to https://www.hagley.org/research/grants-fellowships/oral-history-project-grant-application to upload the following application information:

  1. Project title
  2.  Project abstract (maximum length: 150 words)
  3. Curriculum Vitae or resume
  4. Project description indicating the scope of your research and the existing scholarship with which you engage (maximum length: 1000 words).
  5. Potential interviewees, including an explanation why they are relevant to the project
  6. Timetable for project
  7.  Budget (specify equipment, if purchasing)

For questions, and to make sure their projects fall within Hagley’s collecting scope, applicants are encouraged to reach out to Hagley Oral History Program Manager Ben Spohn, bspohn@hagley.org (302) 658-2400 before applying.