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Guide to Oral Histories in Medicine and the Health Sciences


Archives and Rare Books Section
Becker Medical Library
Washington University School of Medicine


Campus Box 8132
660 South Euclid
St. Louis, Missouri 63110


(314) 362-4236

Fax number

(314) 362-0190

Website URL
Oral History Project Web site URL

Contact Person

Paul Anderson, Archivist
Lilla Vekerdy, Rare Book Librarian
Cathy Sarli, Special Projects Librarian
Ellen Dubinsky, Digital Archives Librarian


Access and Services

Most oral histories are freely available on the Washington University School of Medicine Oral History Project website, Materials (transcripts and audio recordings) are available at the repository for reference. Photocopying is allowed for unrestricted materials (for a nominal charge).


The Washington University School of Medicine Oral History Project is a series of recorded interviews and transcripts dating from 1959. The project was envisioned to capture and preserve first person accounts and reflections on the history of the medical school, medical practice in St. Louis, and developments in the field of medicine. Interview subjects include faculty, staff and alumni of the School of Medicine, as well as family members, friends and others associated with Washington University.

The Oral History Project provides an important tool in documenting the history of the Washington University School of Medicine. These audio interviews and transcripts are preserved in the Archives department of the Bernard Becker Medical Library. They supplement the institutional records, manuscript and visual collections, and artifacts relating to the history of the Washington University School of Medicine and its affiliated institutions.


There are over 80 interviews in the collection (as of July 2006). In September 2005 the department began again the active collection of new oral history interviews. Interviews are conducted as they are arranged. Transcripts will be completed as staff resources allow.

Collection Description

Material Type

The collection consisted of audio recordings only until 2005. We recorded our first 3 video oral histories in the fall of 2005. Future oral histories may be either audio or video (depending upon the wishes of the interviewee).


Most oral histories are fully available to the public. However, some materials may be restricted. Consult Archivist for terms of use.


As of July 2006, we are almost done completing the transcripts of our backlog of oral history interviews. These oral history transcripts, as well as the audio (when available), are accessible through the Oral History Project web site (