Doing Oral History | Newberry

Doing Oral History

Led by Mark Larson. Five sessions. 2 - 4 pm.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Wednesdays, November 4 - December 2

2 - 4 pm

This seminar has been cancelled.

As a precaution to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars Program’s Fall 2020 term will continue to be held virtually. Virtual seminars meet via Zoom video conference and use email and Google Drive folders to share resources and communicate with instructors and participants. For more information about the Newberry’s virtual seminars and these tools, including a Zoom tutorial, please see our Virtual Seminars FAQ page. If you have questions about online learning, please feel free to reach out to

For more information about the Newberry’s response to COVID-19 please visit

Seminar Description

Learn about the practice of oral history by capturing forever a story you think is important for future generations to hear in the words and voices of those who lived it. By the third session, participants in this workshop will be on their way toward creating their own oral history. They will be assisted in deciding on a topic and making contact with interviewees and guided through the process of interviewing with plenty of examples, analysis of published oral histories, and in-class practice. As early as the second session, participants will share an excerpt from their first interview for comment.

Five sessions. Registration – $220

Mark Larson is the author of Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater, for which he conducted over 300 interviews with Chicago theater artists. He is currently working on an oral biography of the actor Ed Asner.

Materials List


  • Studs Terkel, Hard Times. Pantheon, 1970; 1986. ISBN: 1-56584-656-7

First Reading:

  • For the first session, please read the Foreword and the first five sections of Book One in Studs Terkel’s Hard Times.

Registration Information

Online registration opens at 9 am (CDT) on Tuesday, September 1st.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, the Adult Education Seminars staff is working remotely and will be unable to process registration over the phone. For more information about registration, including a guide to online registration, see our Registration Information page. Questions? Please contact seminars program staff via email at

We offer a 10% discount to members, seniors, and students.

This seminar has been cancelled.

This seminar is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about registering for a seminar, program policies, or teaching a seminar.