Ed Miller, a history professor at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, directs a unique and innovative program at the college: The Dartmouth Vietnam Project, an oral history endeavor that trains Dartmouth undergrad students to interview members of the college community who were involved in any way with the Vietnam War back in the day.
“Since our program launched in 2014, our students have conducted more than a hundred interviews with Dartmouth alumni, current and former faculty and staff, and local area residents, ” Miller told us. Many of the interviewees are Dartmouth alumni, but the program “welcomes the participation of anyone and everyone who has a connection to Dartmouth, ” Miller said. “Volunteers may include current and former Dartmouth faculty and staff, current and former residents of Hanover and the Upper Valley, and Dartmouth parents, spouses, friends, and partners.”
The folks who run the project train a new group of students every year in oral history interviewing techniques. The students then arrange the interviews and produce written transcripts and recordings. Both go into an online archive and are permanently cataloged at the Rauner Special Collections Library as part of the Dartmouth College archives.
“In making these oral histories widely available, the Dartmouth Vietnam Project not only contributes to Dartmouth’s own historical record, but also deepens the public history of the Vietnam era by providing unique and invaluable sources for scholars and the general public alike, ” Miller said.