Website Review

Tibetan Oral History Archive Project

Professor Melvyn C. Goldstein, Library of Congress

The Tibetan Oral History Archive Project is an oral history archive housed on the Library of Congress website. It is made up of interviews with common people in Tibet, as well as some religious and governmental officials, speaking either about their lives, or about their understanding of the modern history of Tibet. These interviews were conducted in Tibetan and Chinese, with translation available in English. Each collection item includes a brief description of who is being interviewed, including a description of their life or life history.

Beyond this collection, the Library of Congress website is an open-access resource available for students and teachers to browse. It boasts a wide selection of documents, many of which are free to use. These documents include photographs, books, films, web archives, legislation and more, from a range of subjects and time periods. The Library of Congress also offers some lesson plans making use of primary sources they host, a blog describing teaching methods, and other resources to enhance both the student and teacher experience. These resources, combined with its easy to use platform, make it, as well as this collection, great resources and guides for use in the classroom.

For this collection, the audio and the transcripts are good resources for students. Whether the student be a language learner, or simply a history student, there is something to be gained and learned from this collection. An excellent resource for students is the interactive glossary linked to the collection that describes Tibetan words and terms used in the translation. For students who may be wholly, or even partly, unfamiliar with Tibetan culture, this may serve a way to learn more about the language and context that the interviewees are speaking from. This collection and the interviews within it are an unparalleled way to learn more about these cultures and contexts, especially from the perspective of the people who live(d) in and experience(d) it.

Reviewed by Carolyn Mason, George Mason University

How to Cite This Source

"Tibetan Oral History Archive Project," in in World History Commons, [accessed February 25, 2024]
Picture of man sitting in front of landscape with a white laptop on his lap, next to a man in traditional dress. Behind them is a herd of animals.
“This oral history archive is made of interviews with Tibetan common folk, religious and governmental officials, speaking about their lives, or their understanding of the history of Tibet.”