What is Oral History?

Mirriam-Webster defines Oral History as "a recording containing information about the past obtained from in-depth interviews concerning personal experiences, recollections, and reflections; also: the study of such information."

While this is certainly an accurate academic definition, the function and tradition of oral history is so much more. Storytelling and oral tradition has been part of human culture since the very beginning.

As famed writer, radio host, and oral historian Studs Terkel once put it, "People are hungry for stories. It's part of our very being. Storytelling is a form of history, of immortality too. It goes from one generation to another."

The the goal of the TOHP, at its core, is to collect and preserve the stories of the World's Largest Trivia Contest for future generations and the community at large.

Why now?

Trivia 50 is approaching quickly, and we thought it appropriate to attempt to make a push to collect oral histories with an eye towards that momentous occasion.

What are you going to do with all the recordings?

The primary goal of the TOHP is to index and archive all of the recorded interviews at the UWSP Archives to be accessible to all.

In addition, we are hoping to use the collected histories to create a short series of audio programs and/or podcasts in order to share stories from the first 50 years of Trivia to as wide an audience as possible.

Finally, if it proves possible to find the funding to have professional transcriptions made, we hope to collect highlights of the oral histories we collect into some sort of written work, ideally illustrated with interesting anecdotes, tidbits, and photographs from the history of the contest not only from the perspective of the organizers and staff, but volunteers and Trivia Teams as well.

I want to tell my stories! How can I get involved?

We would love to hear your stories! We aren't making an "open call" for interviews just yet, but we will be soon! Email info@triviahistory.org for more details.

What if I'm no longer in Stevens Point? Can I still be interviewed?

Yes! We are currently working to determine the best method to record audio by distance, but most likely we will be doing these interviews via telephone, Skype, or Google Voice. We are also in the process of working out a way to collect self-recorded interviews, so stay tuned!

How can I help with the project?

If you're interested in helping conduct interviews (or with anything else), feel free to drop us a line at info@triviahistory.org. We will be happy to hear from you!