What is the South Phoenix Oral History Project?

“The South Phoenix Oral History Project has given South Mountain Community College a sense of place.”
~ Faculty Feedback, 2020

Until now, I had no idea South Phoenix even mattered.”
~ Student Feedback, 2018

SPOH is A student-founded, student-led initiative to capture and preserve the history of South Mountain Community College and South Phoenix, Arizona.

Students research, collect, and analyze primary and archival source material. They interview and analyze the stories of history-makers in Phoenix, Arizona to retell the history of our community.

What is Oral History?

Oral history is a field of study and a method of gathering, preserving and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past events. Oral history is both the oldest type of historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most modern, initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now using 21st-century digital technologies.

Oral History Association

Oral history is the dynamic practice of studying, researching, collecting, and analyzing the lived histories of individuals. It is a student-centered approach to engage in the historical process through direct communication with history-makers. Through the retelling of their histories, narrators share their memories and experiences, filling out the “real story” of the historical narrative.

Summer Cherland, PhD

Oral History is an imprecise term: it is used to refer to formal, rehearsed accounts of the past presented by culturally sanctioned tradition-bearers; to informal conversations about “the old days” among family members, neighbors, or coworkers; to printed compilations of stories told about past times and present experiences; and to recorded interviews with individuals deemed to have an important story to tell.

History Matters


Let’s tell together.