Storytelling: Oral Histories, Archives, and Museums
A Focus Issue of the journal Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals
Published by Rowman & Littlefield
Guest Editors: Greg Lambousy, Louisiana State Museum,  and Mark Cave, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Journal Editor: Juilee Decker                                                                                        

In The Past is a Foreign Country, David Lowenthal points out the relationship of the past in shaping lives in the present through memory, written history, film, and artifacts. Further, Paula Hamilton and Linda Shopes have examined connections between oral history and public memory (Oral History and Public Memories). How do oral histories frame the past and inform the present? What role do archives and museums play in the collection, presentation, and display of oral histories?

This focus issue of the journal Collections interrogates the ways in which museum and archives professionals, researchers, and scholars use digital technologies to record, interpret, share, and archive oral histories. We invite articles on a broad range of activities involving oral histories, digital technologies, and museums and archives. Articles may take a range of approaches in examining the nature of such collections at a particular institution; work related to their digitization, preservation, and access; and/or any number of topics related to the challenges of the authenticity and materiality, ethics, and sheer volume of oral histories in the digital age.

Articles might address one or more of the following questions:

  • How are stories collected and shared with the public?
  • What role do oral histories and associated images, and other archival materials play in constructing narratives for exhibitions?
  • How are oral histories incorporated into exhibitions?
  • How do digital stories give public access to the collections as well as an understanding of personal experiences?
  • What kinds of legal and ethical issues do oral histories present for archives and museums?
  • What role do digital stories play in the construction of public memory?

For this issue, we are seeking articles and case studies of 15‐25 pages, reviews, technical columns, and observations. See for more information about the journal. For more information, contact the journal editor, Juilee Decker, 

Authors should express their interest by submitting a 150-word abstract to the guest editors and the journal editor by November 1, 2016. The deadline for submission of final papers is February 1, 2017. Publication is anticipated for volume 13 with an issue date of 2017.

Contact Info: 

Juilee Decker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Museum Studies Program
Rochester Institute of Technology
92 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623   Twitter: @RITmuse

Contact Email: