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Oral History of American Music Collections Guide: Home


Click to Browse Collections and Stream Interviews 

Most material listed in this guide can be accessed through OHAM's finding aids in Archives at Yale. Click above to view the finding aids.

New from OHAM

In celebration of OHAM at 50, we asked various composers, including students, faculty, and friends, to create pieces using OHAM recordings as source material. In some cases, composers created their own video component, and in others pieces were matched with video artists through CCAM (the Center for Colaborative Arts and Media at Yale).



Alone Together: Musicians in the Time of Covid
An ongoing series of Zoom interviews with composers and musicians, focusing on their personal and creative lives while isolating during the current COVID-19 outbreak.



The Struggles and Triumphs of Bessie Jones, Big Mama Thornton, and Ethel Waters
An online exhibit curated and created by OHAM fellow Daniella Posy, Yale PhD candidate in American Studies.

About OHAM


Since its founding in 1969 at Yale University, Oral History of American Music (OHAM) has been dedicated to the collection and preservation of the voices of the major musical figures of our time. The project captures musicians’ narratives and reflections in their own words through in-depth interviews. With an ever-expanding collection, OHAM is a living archive, currently comprising more than 2,000 audio and video recordings. We regularly conduct, catalogue, and transcribe interviews with emerging talents and established artists, producing a wealth of primary and secondary source material accessible to musicians, students, scholars, arts organizations, and the media. 

 Click to Browse Collections and Stream Interviews 




OHAM Staff

Libby Van Cleve, Director
Anne Rhodes, Research Archivist

Connect With Us!


This guide is maintained by:

Profile Photo
Anne Rhodes
Music Library, SML, Room ML114
Monday-Thursday 12-5 by appointment

How to Listen and Read

OHAM collections can be located through Archives at Yale. Once located, recordings for most interviews can then be streamed online via OHAM’s AV Access System, Aviary.

Streaming Audio and Video:
Access to Aviary from Archives at Yale is provided by clicking on the OHAM logo or video image provided for an interview. See this example.
Yale users can simply log in with their Yale University netID, and play the interview recording in Aviary.
Non-Yale users should follow the steps outlined in this video to gain 30 days free access to interviews.

If you would like transcripts of any of these interviews, click here to fill out a request form and a staff member will provide you with any available PDFs for download.

Tables of Contents:
Tables of Contents for many interviews are available in Archives at Yale, under the "External Documents" header for each interview (when available).


OHAM provides access to interview recordings and text transcripts for personal research use, teaching, and educational purposes. Free online streaming access to most OHAM original interview recordings is available. Digital copies of most transcripts are also available at no charge. A limited number of acquired materials are also digitized and/or transcribed, and are available for access.

In accordance with Yale's Web Accessibility Policy, accessible versions of OHAM’s materials can be provided upon request. The time required to prepare these accessible versions will vary.

Researchers wishing to publish or broadcast OHAM materials are responsible for obtaining direct authorization from copyright holders.  Generally, the interviewees or their estates hold the copyright. 

For any use of the materials or content on the OHAM website, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder and cite OHAM as the source of the original material with the credit line below that corresponds to the appropriate collection, if applicable:

e.g., With thanks to the Oral History of American Music, Gilmore Music Library, Yale University for [Name of Interviewee], [Date of Interview]. Interviewed by [Name of Interviewer]. [Interview Call No.], [Collection Title].

e.g., With thanks to the Oral History of American Music, Gilmore Music Library, Yale University for Joan Tower, January 9, 1976. Interviewed by Frances Harmeyer. OHV 55 a-b, Major Figures in American Music